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Social Sciences

Pyschology      Sociology     Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)


Our aim is for all students to be able to reflect on and evaluate a range of theoretical perspectives across applied contexts. We want our students to be able to interrogate the research evidence upon which these arguments are based.

We want out students to be able to develop transferable skills by utilising a range of methodological research skills and be confident in the ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative data.

We expect students to develop an appreciation of diverse experience and to be able to locate this in an ethical and cross-cultural framework that respects individual difference.


This popular department (one of the largest in the Sixth Form) offers A Level Sociology and Psychology as well as the Extended Project Qualification. Sociology and Psychology provide an excellent foundation in the understanding of human behaviour and the workings of society and combine well with other subjects at degree level. These subjects are particularly useful for those wishing to pursue careers in Law, Social Policy, Journalism, Advertising, Marketing, Publishing, Education, Anthropology, Medical Sciences and Healthcare. Staff in the department strongly believe that both subjects offer the opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into human behaviour and to study popular and contemporary subjects. The Extended Project Qualification offers students the opportunity to work at a higher and more independent level and acts as an excellent transition to Higher Education.


Download Student Psychology Revision Resources from

AQA specification

Psychology can be studied to A Level and is a popular subject within a successful department. Psychology has the status of a science A level. The department follows the AQA specification and the course aims to give a broad introduction to the key psychological approaches, research methods and real world applications. Year 1 consists of two examined units. The first unit explores the fascinating areas of memory and forgetting and social influence and conformity. The second unit explores theories of attachment and psychopathology. The expectation is that students will continue to A Level and be examined in three papers. Year 2 allows students to apply their knowledge in depth to Forensic Psychology, the study of relationships and schizophrenia. Students also have the opportunity to explore key issues and debates surrounding psychology’s contribution to society.

Psychology Curriculum Guide

Lower Sixth Psychology


Unit  Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

Introductory Topics

Methods of Psychological Research

Theories of memory and forgetting and associated research studies.

(All work to include relevant methodology).

Psychology maths skills assessment paper. Timed specimen exam questions in class. Theories, models and supporting classic studies of memory.

Timed past exam questions in class – theories and supporting research of forgetting.

Both to include some methodology

Autumn 2

Methods of Psychological Research

Social influence and social conformity

Factors affecting the reliability of eye witness testimony, supporting research studies and application of theories to this key issue.

History of psychology and emergence of approaches(timeline)

Assumptions of learning, cognitive, and biological approaches.

Timed specimen exam papers in class. Theories and supporting studies in social conformity and obedience

Spring 1

Obedience The impact of social influence on social change. Minority influence. Classic studies to support theories.

Psychology in context


Mock exam paper on Autumn term units.

Timed specimen exam papers in class.

Approaches to psychology

Spring 2

Social Influence

Psychology in context


Introduction to Biopsychology-nervous system, synaptic transmission, endocrine system, fight or flight response, brain chemistry and behaviour (neurotransmitters)

Link to concepts of memory, attachment and biopsychology.

Timed specimen questions on structure and function of nervous system. Fight or flight response

Summer 1

Psychopathology- definitions of Abnormality. Phobias, OCD, Mental Health--explanations and treatments.

Biopsychology continued.

Examination on Psychology in Context topics.


Summer 2

 A level Year 2 Work

Psychodynamic Approach- Freud’s theories.

Biopsychology- Brain structure and function.  Neuroscience-methods of investigation

Attachment theory. Evolutionary principles, applying learning approach to attachment.

Classic research into attachment and link to behaviour types in adults.

Further Attachment theories. Cultural variations.

Research project into Brain lateralisation and modern scanning techniques.

Research and presentation on effects of loss of attachment in early childhood. To include appropriate methodology e.g case studies.


Upper Sixth Psychology


Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

Autumn 1

Humanistic Approach- Maslow’s Hierarchy of need.

Comparison of Approaches

Biological Rhythms

Research methods-, scientific processes. Inferential testing

Schizophrenia Introduction to Schizophrenia- Diagnosis and classification

Forensics –Offender profiling

Timed Assessment - questions on Introductory topics (revision of A Level year 1 topics)

Timed Assessment -questions on comparison of Approaches, Biological rhythms.



Autumn 2

Schizophrenia- Biological and Psychological explanations.

Issues and Debates in Psychology-Gender and Culture, nature/nurture

Free will/determinism. Idiographic/nomothetic approaches, Holism/reductionism, ethical implications of research.


Introduction to relationships, sexual selection, factors affecting attraction.

Timed Assessment –questions on Schizophrenia

Spring 1

Schizophrenia - Biological and Psychological therapies

Forensics- Biological and Psychological explanations of offending behaviour

Relationships- Theories of romantic relationships, Rusbult’s and Duck’s models

Mock examination

Timed Assessment -questions on Forensics.

Spring 2

Schizophrenia - the Interactionist Approach.

Forensics- Dealing with offending behaviour

Relationships - Virtual and Parasocial relationships

Timed Assessment – questions on Relationships

Summer 1

Revision of Issues and Debates and Options

Specimen exam paper questions on Issues,  Debates and Options in Psychology (paper 3)

Summer 2

Revision of material form all course units.

AQA A level Psychology examination.

Paper 1-  Introductory Topics

Paper2- Psychology in context

Paper 3 - Issues and Options in Psychology.



Eduqas specification

Sociology can also be studied to A Level and enjoys a good success rate. This course is an excellent introduction into the key sociological theories and how these may be applied to explain everyday experiences and life chances.

Year 1 Sociology consists of two examined units the first of which, focuses on Socialisation and Identity, Youth Cultures and Education. The second unit focuses on the various sociological methods used to investigate the world around us. The expectation is that students will continue to A Level and be examined in three papers. The third unit will cover Power and Inequality looking at the influence of class, ethnicity, gender and age; contemporary trends in inequality and social mobility and theories of stratification. They will also dedicate time to the study of theories of Crime and Deviance, social order and social control. This will incorporate policies to control and prevent crime, punishment, media representations of crime and how crime is defined and measured.


Sociology Curriculum Guide

Lower Sixth Sociology


Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

All landmark assessments will be made up of past exam questions (5m, 15m, 20m, 30m and 35m).
All landmark assessments are essay based.

There will be a number of other written and timed assessments set over the year, as well as research, note-taking and other homeworks.

Autumn 1

Socialisation and Culture

Key themes and concepts in sociology

The social construction of Culture

The process and agencies of Socialisation

Examples of the influence of socialisation on identity


The role and function of education in contemporary society


Socialisation and Culture 5 & 15 marks


Education: 15 marks

Autumn 2


Patterns and trends in attainment by social class, gender and ethnicity

The influence of material factors, cultural factors and processes of labelling within education and the wider society on patterns and trends in educational attainment

Contemporary social policy with regard to education in society

Theoretical perspectives on education: functionalist, Marxist, interactionist, feminist, New Right, postmodernist.


Education 15 marks


Education 35 marks



Spring 1

Youth Cultures

Patterns and trends in attainment by social class, gender and ethnicity

The influence of material factors, cultural factors and processes of labelling within education and the wider society on patterns and trends in educational attainment

Contemporary social policy with regard to education in society

Theoretical perspectives of youth cultures: functionalist, Marxist, feminist, postmodernist, interactionist.

Youth cultures & deviance, with reference to delinquency, crime, education and media


Youth Culture 15 marks & 35 marks


Mock exam: culture and identity and education focus

Spring 2


Key concepts

  • Sampling
  • Theories of research
  • Ethical issues

Practical issues

  • Primary quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Methodological approaches
  • Secondary methods and data


Youth culture


Methods 20 marks and 30 marks

Summer 1


Component 1 and Component 2 Eduqas Sociology: methods and youth cultures focus

Summer 2


Research project on inequalities

Measuring the CAGE factors

Research presentation and written submission


 Upper Sixth Sociology


Unit Descriptions

Landmark Assessments

All landmark assessments are essay based. There will be a number of other written and timed assessments set over the year, as well as research, note-taking and other homeworks.

Autumn 1

Crime and Deviance

Defining and measuring Crime

Media and the social construction of crime

Patterns & Trends (including class, age, gender and ethnicity = CAGE factors)



Measuring crime: Patterns and Trends  20 marks

Autumn 2

Crime and Deviance

Sociological theories of crime and deviance: functionalism, subcultural, Postmodernism, Marxism, Neo-Marxism, Interactionism, Right & Left Realism, Feminism

Ethnicity: explanations (recap other CAGE factors linked to explanations)

Impact of explanations on Policies


Theories: comparative essay  40 marks


Spring 1

Power & stratification

Evidence and examples of inequality related to CAGE factors in contemporary UK

Changing patterns of inequality including distribution of income, wealth and social mobility


Mock exam: crime and methods focus

Spring 2

Power & stratification

Theories and explanations for inequality and stratification related to CAGE factors including functionalist, New Right, Marxist, neo-Marxist, Weberian, feminist, postmodernist and theories of racism.


Theoretical explanations of inequality essay  40 marks



Summer 1

Methods of sociological enquiry

revision of key evaluative concepts, methodological approaches (including positivism, interpretivism and realism), sampling and PET factors influencing research.

Revision of all substantive areas


Methods: design research project to investigate specified topic  30 marks.

Past exam questions across all substantive areas.

Summer 2

Revision and exam preparation, including revision of units 1 & 2

Unit 1,2 & 3



Extended Project Qualification

AQA specification   

This highly successful and prestigious qualification is offered within the department to students showing academic curiosity, independence and skill. The Extended Project Qualification offers students an exciting chance to stretch and challenge themselves whilst developing the skills and confidence to succeed in Higher Education and the job market. The Extended Project is a single, stand-alone piece of work which will require students to use research, critical thinking, planning and evaluation. It is a Level 3 qualification, graded A*-E with the same UCAS points as an AS level. 

Students can produce a mini-dissertation of 5000 words or a creative visual or performance piece. The Extended Project could develop and extend from one or more of the student’s study areas and/or from an area of personal interest or activity outside their main programme of study. It will be based on a topic agreed by the student and agreed as appropriate by the centre. There will be teaching of the necessary skills, supervision and assessment of the student’s progress. The main emphasis is on extended autonomous work by the student, allowing student ownership of the project.

Students plan the project, record what they do in a production log and present their work to a non-specialist audience. This is assessed by their supervisor and moderated by the centre coordinator. The Production Log records the following key information:

  • Initial planning meeting between the leaner and the supervisor
  • The learner’s outline plan at the beginning of the project
  • Mid-project review with the supervisor
  • End-of-project review with the supervisor
  • Summary
  • A record of the presentation
  • The learner’s reflection on the project and presentation.

Many (especially Russell Group) Universities have noted that the EPQ is providing students with skills they particularly value that will ease the transition to Higher Education and that this may lead either to lower admissions offers or a way to distinguish between applicants of otherwise equal academic standing.