Sociology Department

Psychology and Sociology

Sociology staff: Mr W Speke

Sociology is the fascinating and exciting study of how our society works and how people behave in various social groups. Studying Sociology will allow students to evaluate many of the most important issues which affect our society and to question taken for granted, common sense assumptions. The course looks at how, for example, a person’s social class, gender and ethnic background has a profound effect on their life chances. In order to understand the analysis of society students will learn about different research methods such as questionnaires, interviews and observations and how sociologists have carried out their research to help understand society’s structures, processes and issues. To do well in Sociology students are encouraged to keep up-to-date with current events by reading a quality newspaper and watching current affairs programmes. This course will help students to look beyond assumptions they may have about the society they live in. They will take part in lively discussions where they can bring their own views to subjects under debate.

Sociology Key Stage 4

Year 10 & 11

Exam Board:   AQA

Specification:  Sociology 4192

In years 10 and 11 students follow the AQA GCSE Sociology specification and will develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society. The course aims to inspire and challenge students by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study which reflects on their own experience of the social world to enhance their ability to play informed roles within different social contexts. It will also help prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices. The subject content is divided into sections that deal with particular kinds of social relations or with different aspects of the social structure of British society. Students will be able to show some understanding of the distinctiveness of the sociological approach as opposed to, for example, the psychological, biological or journalistic and should be aware that different kinds of explanations exist within sociology. They will:

  • Recognize that their sociological knowledge, understanding and skills will help them to develop an understanding of the interrelationships between individuals, groups, institutions and societies.
  • Analyse critically the nature and sources of information and base reasoned judgements and arguments on evidence.
  • Organize and communicate their knowledge and understanding in different and creative ways and reach substantiated judgements.

The key units are:

Year 10 Unit 1: Studying Society

Education

Families

Year 11 Unit 2: Crime and Deviance

Mass Media

Power

Social Inequality

Both units are assessed by a one and a half hour written paper.

Sociology Key Stage 5

Sixth Form

Exam Board:  AQA

Specification: 2190

In the sixth form the students follow the AQA Advanced Level course. The course is shared with our partner schools and Abingdon and Witney College in the Abingdon 14:19 Partnership. The specification provides a smooth transition from GCSE Sociology, although this is NOT a prerequisite for studying AS/A Level Sociology. Candidates who have a Grade C in English Language at GCSE will find that those skills will suitably equip them for the study of this specification.

At AS Level students study two units:

Unit 1 (SCLY 1) Families and Households

Assessed by a one hour written paper worth 60 marks

40% of AS, 20% of A Level

Unit 2 (SCLY 2) Education; Sociological Methods

Assessed by a two hour written paper worth 90 marks

60% of AS, 30% of A Level

Throughout this unit students will carry out small scale pieces of research.

At A Level students study two units:

Unit 3 (SCLY 3) Beliefs in Society

Assessed by a one and a half hour written paper worth 60 marks.

20% of A Level

Unit 4 (SCLY 4) Crime and Deviance; Theory and Methods

Assessed by a 2 hour written paper worth 90 marks

30% of A Level 

Psychology Key Stage 5

Sixth Form

Exam Board:  AQA

Specification: AQA Psychology A (2180) [GCE Psychology from 2009]

In year 12 students can expect to gain an understanding of: the human memory, its processes and how and why we forget vital information but can’t help but remember seemingly useless facts; how to classify, explain and treat abnormal behaviour; the development and maintenance of attachments and the physical and psychological consequences of failing to create these relationships; the nature and causes of stress and the impact of conformity and obedience, and how psychologists carry out and evaluate their research.

At AS level students study two units:

Unit 1(PSYA 1) – Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research Methods

50% of the total AS marks, 25% of the total A2 marks

Questions include short answer, stimulus material and one 12 mark question requiring extended writing in which QWC will be assessed.

Unit 2(PSYA 2) – Biological Psychology, Social Psychology and Individual Differences

50% of the total AS marks, 25% of the total A2 marks

Questions include short answer, stimulus material and one 12 mark question requiring extended writing in which QWC will be assessed.

Both units are assessed by a 1 hour 30 minutes exam in June.

At A2 level there are an equally fascinating series of subjects to be covered which may involve covering topics such as relationships and the nature of attraction, explanations of aggression, psychopathology, a contemporary application of psychology to investigate in detail and an understanding of the design and conduct of scientific research in psychology.

At A level students study 2 units:

Unit 3(PSYA 3) – Topics in Psychology – 3 topics chosen from the following;

  • Biological Rhythms and Sleep
  • Perception
  • Relationships
  • Aggression
  • Eating behaviour
  • Gender
  • Cognition and Development

25% of the total A level marks

Assessed by a 1 hour 30 minutes written paper

Unit 4(PSYA 4) – Psychopathology, Psychology on Action and Research Methods

25% of the total A level marks

Assessed by a 2 hour written paper

Both exams take place in June