Sociology is the academic study of human society that involves exploring the social interactions and relationships between different groups of people. It helps students develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society, and how sociologists study and understand its structures, processes and issues. Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students’ lives. This course encourages students to take a questioning approach to evidence and issues, thus developing their critical and evaluative skills.

What pupils will learn


Key Stage 4

Over three years we study the following in sociology:

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Year 9 Key concepts

  • Culture
  • Socialisation
  • Identity
  • Status
  • Labelling
  • Inequality
  • Discrimination
  • Deprivation
Sociological theory

  • Functionalism
  • Marxism
  • Feminism
Research methods

  • Research process
  • Ethical considerations
  • Quantitative methods
  • Qualitative methods
  • Mixed methods
Year 10 Families

  • Family diversity and different family forms in the UK and within a global context
  • Sociological theories of the role of the family
  • Social changes and family structures
  • Social changes and family relationships
  • Criticisms of family

  • Sociological theories of the role of education
  • Processes inside schools Patterns of educational achievement
  • Factors affecting educational achievement
  • Factors affecting educational achievement
Crime and Deviance

  • Social construction of concepts of crime and deviance
  • Social control
  • Patterns of criminal and deviant behaviour
  • Sociological theories and explanations of deviance and criminal behaviour (structural, subcultural, interactionist and feminist)
  • Sources of data on crime
Year 11 Social differentiation and stratification

  • Sociological theories of stratification
  • Different forms and sources of power and authority
  • Equality/inequality in relation to class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability and sexuality
  • Factors which may influence access to life chances and power
  • Poverty as a social issue
Research methods and revision Revision


How pupils’ learning will be assessed

Sociology is an academic subject, and as students are assessed though 100% examination at the end of Year 11, revision is the key to success. Only those students who complete all homework tasks and revise constantly while reading around the taught material will achieve a strong grade. Students will need a strong work ethic and commitment to homework if they want to achieve in sociology.

Those students that do decide to take sociology as an option and work hard at it, will find it fulfilling and rewarding. It is a subject that has the potential to change the way they look at the world, giving them a greater understanding of the human condition, and contemporary society.

Where does sociology lead?

This course leads to further study at A-level and onto university. It develops a wide range of transferable skills applicable to any career including communication, writing skills, research methods and balancing different theories and arguments. Careers where sociology is considered useful are any health and social care roles such as nursing, social work, marketing, teaching, politics, market research and business.

KS4 subject information for parents/students

Key assessment dates:

Years 9 and 10: Students will have end of topic assessments after each topic has been completed. Students will sit an end of year trial examination.

Year 11: Students will have end of topic assessments after each topic has been completed.

Students will take two trial exams in Year 11, one at Christmas and one at Easter. Final exam in Summer of Year 11.

There are no controlled assessments in Sociology.

Learning materials

Useful websites:

LINKSociology Central


LINKThe Times

Recommended Subject Guide:

Collins Revision GCSE Sociology—Pauline Wilson (2010)

ISBN: 13-978-0-00-735053-9