My students often ask me, “What is sociology?” and I tell them, “It’s the study of the way in which human beings are shaped by things they don’t see”.  Sam Richards

Sociology studies how society works. It will help you to understand how individuals fit into a wider social network and encourage you to question beliefs about society which you may have previously taken forgranted.  Sociologists are interested in how society works and the extent to which our behaviour can be shaped by our social class, age, gender and race.

Sociology is about your life and the work around you.  It is a subject that you will have experience of and one that will help you to understand many aspects of your future.  Good sociologists are open-minded, able to analyse information and see things from more than one point of view.

Sociology is a really exciting subject and many students who study sociology at GCSE also go on to study the subject at A level.

A model sociology student will have the ability to write extended essays, which describe sociological ideas in detail. There are very few short questions in the sociology exams so it is essential that students can cope with the writing element of the course. The ability to see arguments for and against a particular debate is essential, as is the ability to justify why some people think a certain way and why they might be right or wrong. 

In Sociology, we aim to instil the essential qualities of empathy, awareness of other cultures and ways of life, non-judgemental attitude, enthusiasm for politics and social issues. It is also important for students to have a desire to question how society works and where things can improve.

The big themes in Sociology are the sociological study of education, the family, crime and deviance, inequality in society and sociological research methods. What do the theories say?

At the heart of sociological study is the debate over how class, age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability impacts on life chances. In addition, students are consistently engaged in key sociological debates around the education system, the purpose of the family, causes of crime and deviance and inequality in society and the research methods to discover these social factors.

Key topics in Sociology within each Year group are shown below: 

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12 Year 13
Sociology Basics      
(Key Concepts)
Research Methods
Crime and Deviance
Stratification and Difference
Social inequality
Family (Paper 2)
Education (Paper 1)
Methods in context (Paper 1)
Sociological Theory
Crime and Deviance (Paper 3)
Theory and Methods (Paper 3)
Media (Paper 2)

Sociology encourages students to question how society works and how school can prepare students for later life and the world of work. Sociology is about the extent to which society is meritocratic and therefore encourages awareness of the need to network and aim for the top. 

Topics in sociology are taught in a sequence, which we feel is appropriate. We start with areas of study, which are needed in later areas so that there is clear progression, and scaffolding of key concepts and theories that can then be recycled through the age groups. 

Please see the Sociology curriculum overviews for each Key Stage below.


Mr I Dawson:           Head of Sociology

Mr P Warren:           Sociology