Curriculum Intent for Social Sciences

The range of Social Sciences subjects (PSHE, Law, Sociology, Psychology, Politics) all have similar learning intentions; for students to understand more about human beings and how we make sense of the world around us; how and when we have personal responsibility for our choices and behaviours; how to live our best lives as individuals and as members of society, and to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons why as citizens we live in the ways we do and have the expectations we do. At its core, all Social Science is about people – how we function as individuals, and how we interact with others – so students develop an enquiring mind as to how they, and the rest of us do this – and how to do it better.

Click below to download the Curriculum map that shows a student’s learning journey throughout this subject at Finham Park School.

Learning Journey Sociology

What is Sociology?
Sociology is the systematic study of society. It is about all types of social relationships people share with each other; in their families, communities, schools and workplaces. The methods developed by sociologists are used in many other disciplines such as market research and management studies.

What topics do we study?
The AQA A-level course concentrates on four topic areas: Families and Households, Education, The Media, and Crime and Deviance. All of these topics look at the patterns, changes, and influences which impact us – in our family lives and structures, in how we are educated, in the media content we consume, and the criminality within our societies. Social theory connects all topic areas – whether thinkers like Marx, or Functionalists of Postmodernists have accurate views and theories about society. Students also learn about the methods used by sociologists and have opportunities to apply this knowledge.

Why study sociology?
Sociology is the kind of subject liked by many professional careers including medicine, education and business, which require some knowledge of society and social theory. Sociology works well alongside a range of other A-level subjects, including Law, Psychology, History and Philosophy and Ethics. You will develop useful skills including communication (discussion, debate, presentation etc), analysis, evaluation and research. Above all – Society is about people – so if you are interested in how people ‘work’, how we interact, and why we have constructed society in the way we have – then give it a go!

What are the requirements?
Good grades in English Language and Literature are helpful, but the most important attributes are a sense of commitment and a willingness to work hard at a subject that can sometimes be difficult to grasp at first, as it is not a GCSE option and so is new for everyone. You need to be highly organised to cope with the volume of material required for the exam. You cannot be a good sociology student unless you are aware of what is happening in society: you need to read widely and take an active interest in current affairs!


Course outline:

A Level Sociology

During Year 12, students will study Families and Households and Research Methods, followed by Education with Methods in context. The Families and Households unit enables you to understand the diversity of society, and how family life is structured and is changing. The Research Methods topic allows you to develop your sociological investigation skills, and assess how sociological studies and research are carried out. Education with methods in context, develops an understanding of the education system in the UK and how success can be shaped by your gender, class and ethnicity – and analyses how best sociologists can study schools, lessons and students’ views.

Year 13 has two more units – The Media in Society, and Crime and Deviance with theory and methods. The first unit, Media in Society, explores the nature of the media’s influence within society – whether it imprints us with ways of thinking and behaving, or if we remain free to use the Media simply for communication, news and entertainment. Students look at the content of the Media, how it portrays certain groups, and the rise of New and Social Media within modern society. The last unit, Crime and Deviance, will examine the issues which arise in society when people fail to follow the rules, and explores the reasons which may lie behind criminality. This section also involves looking at Research methods in context, and the potential difficulties in studying crime for Sociologists.


Please see Mr Ratcliffe or Mrs Baker if you require any further information about this course.

Department Staff

Head of Department Mr D Ratcliffe
Ms C Baker