GCSE Sociology

The course

Sociology is the systematic investigation of the behaviour of people in social groups, both large and small, with a focus on the particular but intersecting institutions (such as the family) in which people live their lives. It studies how such institutions operate in the contemporary world and how they have evolved historically (eg How has the family altered and developed in the past century?). 

Students must study the following three topics: (i) Studying Society; (ii) Families;  and (iii) Education. They then choose three out of the following four: (i) Crime  and Deviance; (ii) Mass Media; (iii) Power; (iv) Social  Inequality. 

The course offers an introduction to the methodologies of studying society as well as sociological approaches to, and understanding of, the wide range of topics indicated.

What skills do I need?

Although no previous experience of studying sociology is necessary, students should have some interest in, and awareness of social issues affecting people in Britain today. Students need to be able to write clearly and to organise material so as to be able to produce coherent written discussions concerning the topics covered in the course.

How is the course assessed?

The examination consists of two written papers. In the Unit 1 paper, you will be examined on the three compulsory topic areas. In the Unit 2 paper, you will be examined on three of the four supplementary topic areas. Each paper lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 50%.


A Sociology GCSE for AQA
By P. Wilson, A. Kidd
Published by Collins Educational, ISBN 978-0007310708 

Introductory Sociology
By T. Bilton et al
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0333945711

Exam Board and Specification Code

AQA 4190

Oliver Milton
Head of Department