Ms Pudney - Head of Department
Ms Allen-Zoutman - Second in Charge of Social Sciences (acting Head of Department)
Mr Robinson - Assistant Headteacher
Ms Satchell


Curriculum Intent – Sociology

Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students' lives. It helps students develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society at a glocal level (both locally and globally), and how sociologists study and understand its structures, processes and issues. We study Sociology through a wish to understand our social context, exploring theories which question how society is structured and explore the courses and solutions of social problems on both a global and local scale, for example analysis of crime figures for Barking and Dagenham. Studying Sociology at Barking Abbey will foster an awareness of social, political and economic changes in society and their global impact.

We aim for Sociology to help our students make sense of the world they live in, encouraging them to develop an appreciation of diverse experience; sociology encourages tolerance and explores diversity, learning about choice and the fluid nature of changes within society. We want out students to be able to develop transferable skills such as self-confidence, effective verbal and written communication by utilising a range of methodological research skills, and be confident in the ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative data. The premise of Sociology is to develop the students ‘sociological imagination’ and for them to understand the social world and our behaviour in it. Overall, we hope that studying Sociology will lead students to become critically thinking, all-rounded, active members of society.


Course Outline and Assessment Details

Syllabus – AQA


Paper 1: The sociology of families and education

  • The sociology of families
  • The sociology of education
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology, and application to these topics


  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification

  • The sociology of crime and deviance
  • The sociology of social stratification
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology, and application to these topics


  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Please note: there is NO coursework – the GCSE is based on examination only, which is untiered i.e. everyone is entered for one paper rather than foundation or higher.


Impact – GCSE Sociology

  1. Students will be able to critically evaluate, compare and contrast theories or explanations, including the key features of each theory or explanation in the context of a specific topic and area of sociology.

  2. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sociological theories by reading and responding to extracts which illustrate the different views of sociologists. They should be able to critically analyse and evaluate how the issues have been interpreted by these sociologists.

  3. For each topic area students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of relevant methods and methodological issues, for example the use of official statistics, qualitative and quantitative approaches and the use of mixed methods.

  4. They will have explored and debated contemporary social issues, on both a local and a global scale, in order to be able to challenge everyday understandings of social phenomena from a sociological perspective. The knowledge, understanding and skills they develop will provide a basis for further study and career choices.


Recommended textbook:

  • AQA GCSE (9-1) Sociology, Updated Edition by David Bown
  • AQA GCSE 9-1 Sociology Student Book by Pauline Wilson, Simon Addison and Allan Kidd

Recommended revision guides:

  • AQA GCSE 9-1 Sociology All-in-One Revision and Practice by Collins GCSE


Career Opportunities

Nursing, Social Work, Police, Law, Teaching, The Media and many others.  


For additional information please contact:

Ms Pudney - Head of Department
Email address: 

Ms Allen-Zoutman - Second in Charge of Social Sciences (acting Head of Department)
Email address:

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"My students often ask me, 'What is Sociology?'. And I tell them, 'It's the study of the way which human beings are shaped by things that they don't see."

Sam Richards