This is a very popular optional subject studied at GCSE level. Through the study of family, education, mass media, culture, crime and social control, students are encouraged to develop their awareness of current affairs, social institutions and various aspects of social behaviour.  Students learn how sociologists collect evidence and they develop their own research skills, putting into practice their sociological knowledge and skills.  Students find the subject fascinating and very relevant to their own lives, enjoying the opportunity to participate in discussions and debates around current affairs. The course acts as a solid foundation for post-16 study in all areas of social science and many students continue their study of at that level.

Curriculum Overview


This subject is not taught at KS3.

KS4 –                         Year 10: AQA                                              Year 11: OCR

Year 10

Year 11

Sociology Basics (1 term)

  • Investigating society
  • Collecting and using information and evidence
  • Culture
  • Socialisation
  • Identity

Family (1 term)

  • Family and identity
  • Structural changes in the family
  • Traditional definitions of the family
  • Changing family relationship


Families (1 term)

  • Functions of families
  • Family forms
  • Conjugal role relationships
  • Changing relationships within families
  • Criticisms of families
  • Divorce
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

Applying Sociological Research techniques (1 term)

  • Analysis of pre-released research material

Education (1 term)

  • Roles and functions of education
  • The relationship between education and capitalism
  • Educational achievement
  • Processes within schools

Revision for all three papers