GCSE Sociology

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Studying sociology will provide you with the answers to these questions and many more about the society you live in today.

Everyone is part of society. Society has helped shape who you are and how you experience life – but how much do you understand about it?

High crime rates in our inner cities, ‘binge drinking ladettes’, boys’ underachievement in school, the effects of divorce on children, racism and the police, the effects of the media on violent behaviour… these are among the great debates of today. They are the subject of countless views and opinions, many of which are ill-informed or prejudiced, most expressed simply from personal and often very limited experience.

This is where Sociology comes in – because these are all SOCIAL issues. The Sociologist sets off to try and understand our human world a little better. This task is often challenging and controversial, but to many it is also fascinating and rewarding.

Sociology, then, is the study of people in society.

By learning how society operates you will be learning how the world works, you will be putting your current life in context and preparing yourself for what society may have in store for you, you will gain the knowledge, analytical and debating skills to add your voice to the great popular discussions of our time in areas such as the family, education, the police/judiciary, the media, religion and politics.

How will I be assessed?

Sociology a 100% exam based course. There is no coursework. You will sit two 90 minute exams at the end of year 12. In order to prepare you for the exam, you will be required to complete essays and shorter exam questions each week.

We complete the AQA specification, full details of which can be found here.

Year 11 topics: 50% of marks for qualification – (Paper 1/2 hour exam)

● What is sociology? How do we research society?
● Families and households
● Education

Year 12 topics: 50% of marks for qualification – (Paper 1 1/2 hour exam)

● Crime and deviance
● Mass media
● Power
● Patterns of inequalities in modern Britain

Entry Requirements

To be a successful sociology student you must:

  • Be willing to express your views in class discussions, debates and presentations.
  • Be able to listen to and respect the views of others.
  • Keep up to date with current issues by reading a newspaper or watching TV news.
  • Be able to summarise research evidence in your essays to present a clear, two-sided argument which reaches a clear conclusion.
  • Keep up to date with the homework that is set each week

Remember that sociology is a purely exam based subject which requires you to write essays. You will be given clear guides on how to write essays, but please note that an ability to express ideas in writing is essential.

Your commitment and enthusiasm will be rewarded with an excellent GCSE grade.

GCSE results

The Sociology department is very proud of its outstanding exam results.  Our students continuously perform above national averages for AQA Sociology data provided by e-AQA.

In 2015-2016, a clear majority of students achieved in line with or above their target grades. This continues a trend of excellent results within the department.

What can I do with Sociology?

Many students who study GCSE Sociology go on to study A level Sociology in the sixth form. It will also help with your study of Psychology, Media Studies or Politics.

In addition, Sociology is an extremely valued subject for higher education entry and future careers. Sociology students are particularly in demand for ‘people centred occupations’ and professions that demand an analytical approach based upon weighing up evidence and arguments to reach considered conclusions.

Hence sociology students have gone on to careers as wide ranging as media research, law, police, journalism, teaching, social and welfare work, personnel work, business analysts, civil service and local government research and policy making, advertising, nursing, medicine and market research.

Still not convinced?

According to a recent report by the Campaign for Social Science, graduates of social sciences are more likely to be employed than other graduates. The report provides hard evidence to debunk the myth that sociology doesn’t offer good career prospects.

Drawing on data from over 60,000 graduates surveyed by the Higher Education Statistics Authority, the report reveals:

  • Higher proportions of social science graduates are in employment than STEM or arts-humanities graduates,
    3.5 years after graduating.

  • Higher proportions of social scientists are ‘managers, directors and senior officials’ than any other subject
    group, at the same point in time.

  • Greater proportions of social science graduates too are employed in ‘professional, scientific and technical’
    or ‘financial’ activities.

  • You can find the full report here, and the BBC news report here.

Where can I go for more information?

Speak to Mrs Fitzpatrick, Head of Sociology. Please come along and speak to me if you have any further questions or would like to see some of the resources that we use in Sociology.


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