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The sociologist’s aim is to understand and explain how societies work and why they change. Sociology is the study of human societies and of human behaviour in social settings. It uses social categories (such as class, sex, age, or ethnicity), and various social institutions (such as family, the media, education, politics, or crime) to look at how humans interact with each other. The A Level course aims to develop skills such as critical thinking, analysis and essay writing.

Once the course starts in September students will be given access to Year 1 and 2 textbooks which will provide the basis to complete the course. Students are expected to undertake wider reading around the course and will be provided with a list of recommended readings.

Good combinations of other subjects to study with Sociology:

History, English, Psychology, Religious Studies, Geography.


GCSE Sociology is designed to foster in learners an understanding and critical awareness of the social world around them. The
specification focuses on the importance of social structure in explaining social issues. Learners will be encouraged to explore and debate contemporary social issues to enable them to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and to question their everyday understanding of social phenomena. By following this course, learners will develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world. This specification will develop learners' ability to think sociologically in relation to their experience of the social world around them so that they are able to play a positive, active and informed role in society.

The learners are assessed through two exams at the end of two years’ study. All topics are compulsory, each exam is equally weighted - 50% - and lasts one hour and forty-five minutes.

The following units are study during each cycle.

Year 10

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Key concepts and processes of cultural transmission Families



Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Education Research methods

Research methods

Applied research methods


Year 11

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Crime and deviance

Crime and deviance

Social differentiation and stratification

Social differentiation
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Applied research methods  





The course is taught over 2 years and covers a range of topic areas. Final assessment consists of three written papers, all of which are taken at the end of the second year of the course. Topics studied are:

Content of Socialisation, culture and identity

In this topic we introduce you to the key themes of socialisation, culture and identity and develop these themes through the context of one of three options either: Families and relationships, Youth subcultures or Media. These options develop skills that enable you to focus on your personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society and develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

Youth subcultures

As the name suggests the unit focuses on youth as an important period in the socialisation process when individuals are developing a sense of identity within their peer groups. It allows learners to explore different types of youth subcultures and the roles they may play in society.

Research methods and researching social inequalities

In this section, you are introduced to a range of methods and sources of data as well as the factors influencing the design of sociological research and the relationship between theory and methods. You are encouraged to consider the practical, ethical and theoretical issues arising in sociological research and to apply knowledge of research methods to the particular context of social inequalities.

Understanding social inequalities

Within this section you will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of contemporary patterns and trends of social inequality. You are able to engage in theoretical debate, explore conceptual issues and develop skills of analysis and evaluation of sociological research and evidence.

Entry Requirements

We expect students to achieve 5 good GCSEs at 5-9 with at least a grade 6 in English. If students are able to achieve these standards they will be considered for the course.


Sociology is an extremely useful subject for a wide range of career opportunities, some of the most popular include: Community Worker, Housing Manager, Health Care Worker, International Development Worker, Journalist, Lecturer, Market Researcher, Personnel Manager, Police Constable, Prison Governor, Probation Officer, Public Sector Administrator, Social Researcher, Social Worker, Teacher, Welfare Advice Worker.

Many Prince William School students go on to study Sociology at university. Sociology can be taken as a single honours degree or combined with other subjects. Sociology is also useful in many other careers as it develops transferable skills which are useful in a variety of jobs and professions.


  • Revision sessions are provided during lesson time before examinations
  • Revision guides are available to purchase from bookshops (online and high street)
  • Additional materials and past papers with mark schemes are made available to students through Prince William School shared drives.
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