Course Overview


These are some of the questions that you will look at in GCSE Sociology:  

  • Why are young black people eight times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people? 
  • Why do girls do better at school than boys? 
  • What is gang culture? 
  • What does it mean to be poor in Britain today? 

GCSE Sociology helps students to gain knowledge and understanding of key social structures, processes and issues through the study of families, education, crime and deviance and social stratification. Students will develop their analytical, assimilation and communication skills by comparing and contrasting perspectives on a variety of social issues, constructing reasoned arguments, making substantiated judgements and drawing reasoned conclusions. By studying sociology, students will develop transferable skills including how to: 

  • Investigate facts and make deductions  
  • Develop opinions and new ideas on social issues  
  • Analyse and better understand the social world.

What will I learn?  

Students study key ideas of classical sociologists including Durkheim, Marx and Weber, referencing their view of the world and their contribution to the development of the discipline. Students will also learn how to apply various research methods to different sociological contexts. They will be introduced to sociological terms and concepts concerned with social structures, social processes and social issues.

Component 1: Understanding Social Processes 

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes 

50% of qualification 

This component covers the following topic areas: 

  • Key concepts and processes of cultural transmission 
  • Families 
  • Education 
  • Sociological research methods 

A written assessment with a mix of short answer, structured questions and extended response questions, all compulsory. The extended response questions will require 

candidates to draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and/or understanding from across the relevant specification content. 

Component 2: Understanding Social Structures 

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes 

50% of qualification

This component covers the following topic areas 

  • Social differentiation and stratification 
  • Crime and deviance 
  • Applied methods of sociological enquiry


Both components require learners to demonstrate essential skills developed through their study of sociology; that is, the ability to show their knowledge and understanding of key concepts and issues in the context of sociological theory and methodology. Learners are also expected to select, interpret, evaluate and apply their knowledge and understanding in a range of theoretical and practical contexts. Learners will also be expected to apply and evaluate this knowledge and understanding to a range of related methodological issues.  

Assessment objectives 

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Sociology specifications and all exam boards. 

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives. 

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods. 
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods. 
  • AO3: Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods in order to construct arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions


Homework is set once a week with a variety of tasks set including consolidation of classwork. 

Assessment - Examination papers  

Examination papers are taken in May/June of Year 11

Exam Board 

WJEC Eduqas

Grading, awarding and reporting 

GCSE qualifications are reported on a nine point scale from 1 to 9, where 9 is the highest grade. Results not attaining the minimum strand for the award will be reported as U (unclassified) 

What Makes A Good Sociology Student?

You need to be open minded. Some things that you “know” are not always accurate. You will need to be able to analyse the information given to you and make decisions about its accuracy and representativeness. You will need to be able to view society from many different perspectives – and accept that different people see the same concept in different ways. You will also be able to listen to and accept the views of others – even if you do not agree with them. 

What Careers Might It Lead To?

There are many careers where a qualification in sociology is useful. For example, many sociologists go into social work – community projects, charity work, welfare advisors and other areas of social services. Other careers are civil service, prison officers, journalists, police and teaching. A qualification in sociology will provide you with many key skills, including logical thinking, planning, research and negotiation – all of which can be used in a variety of careers. 


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