• computer suite

Social Sciences

Welcome to the Social Sciences Department

Mission Statement:

What is Psychology?

One definition is “The Science of Mind and Behaviour”.

What is Sociology?

One definition is “The planned and organised study of human beings in social groups and social institutions.”

What is the difference?

One way to think of it is like the difference between a microscope and a telescope.  Psychology looks at small aspects of human behaviour in detail, even at the level of how chemicals such as hormones affect our behaviour; Sociology takes in the whole picture at once, including the influence of wider and even global social and economic factors.

So, for example, Psychology might study the cognitive process of memory, the methods people use to recall facts and how individuals could use this information to help them revise for exams.  On the other hand Sociology might look at the education system as a whole, such as the effect of government policies, exam pass rates across the UK, comparisons with other countries, and the influence of factors like poverty, ethnicity or gender on results.

Is it a good idea to study both?

Some people do, but it is not necessary.  Each subject stands alone in its own right.  It is a matter of preference, and how subject choice fits with personal future career plans.

Psychology fits well with Biology, Sport, Business and English

Sociology fits well with History, Business and English

Both subjects are valuable stepping stones to a wide variety of careers and higher education courses, providing a gateway to medical courses, education, the caring professions, or any statistical careers such as market research.
Miss L Murphy, Miss A Holmes.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum:

In KS4 we offer:

  • GCSE Sociology

Students will study various forms of human society and their effect on our culture, social organisations and individual lives. Learners will develop the skills to understand the relationships between individuals, groups, institutions and societies.


Key Stage 5 Curriculum:

In KS5 we offer:

  • A level Psychology
  • A level Sociology

Both subjects are the new specifications, with exams at the end of 2 years study.


The Government requires at least 25–30% of any of the new A Level Psychology assessments should focus on research methods and 10% should test maths skills to level 2 or above. 

Therefore anyone choosing psychology needs to be aware of this, and make sure they want to study an A level science with a strong mathematical basis. Part of the course requires students to use scientific methodology to carry out their own behavioural research then analyse the findings using inferential statistics.



NB It is not necessary to have done the GCSE in order to study Sociology at A Level.

All students are expected to have, and develop, a keen interest in political history and current political and economic issues.  This is best established by keeping up to date with current affairs, watching or reading daily news bulletins and being well informed about any contemporary topic.  Sometimes lessons are reactive to current affairs or events in the news so it is important to keep up to date.

Therefore anyone choosing sociology needs to be aware of this and make sure they want to study an A level with a strong political and economic basis.