Sociology GCSE

Studying sociology will give you a better idea of how different groups in society relate to each other, the way modern life has developed and the impact of conflict, culture and politics on society.
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Overview of GCSE Sociology 

It’s often said that the function of sociology is to reveal that which is hidden; why do people behave the way they do? What governs our everyday interactions, and what drives social change? If you’re fascinated by questions like these, then GCSE Sociology is the qualification for you.

As a cornerstone of social science, sociology overlaps several unique disciplines that study society, such as economics, psychology, and political science. It provides a range of essential, transferable skills, including analysis, problem-solving, critical thinking, and research, all of which are invaluable in just about any career, as well as further education avenues.

What you will learn

  1. Unit 1 - Introduction

    • What is Sociology?
    • Overview of the course
    • Learning methods
    • Resources
  2. Unit 2 - The Sociological Approach

    • Karl Marx and his ideas
    • Durkheim and functionalism
    • The ideas of Weber
    • Feminist ideas
    • The New Right Theory
    • Values
    • Norms
    • Social control and issues
    • Culture
    • Socialisation
    • Symbolic interactionism
    • The Debate between conflict and consensus theories
    • Culture vs Nature debate
    • Sex and gender
    • Race and ethnicity
    • Research design
    • Quantitative vs qualitative methods
  3. Unit 3 - Families and Their Functions

    • Changing roles within families
    • Tension in conventional families
    • Inequality in conventional families
    • Family relationships and how they have changed
    • Relationships between children and parents
    • Care of the disabled and elderly
    • Children in families
    • Stratified diffusion
    • Pre-industrial families
    • Industrialised families
    • Modern-day families
    • The symmetrical family
    • Power in the family
    • Relationships in the family today
    • Family and marriage
    • Functionalism and conjugal roles
    • Feminism and conjugal roles
    • Criticisms of the feminist view
    • Feminism and Anne Oakley
    • Criticism of Delphy’s and Leonard’s views
    • Marxism and conjugal roles
    • Zaretsky and his views
    • Criticisms of Marxist views of the family
    • Decision-making
    • Parenting and childcare
    • ‘Dysfunctional’ families
    • Marriage in Britain today
    • Family breakdown and divorce
    • Sociological perspectives of divorce and marital breakdown
    • The Nuclear Family and Murdock’s Four Functions
    • Parsons’ perspectives – the loss of functions
  4. Unit 4 - Families

    • UK family forms
    • Global family forms
    • China and the ‘One Child per Family’ Policy
    • Rapoport’s Five Types of Family Diversity
    • Alternatives to living in a family
    • Reasons for diversity
  5. Unit 5 - Education

    • Functionalist perspectives on the role of education
    • Parsons’s perspectives on the role of education
    • Other criticisms of functionalism
    • The selective role of education
    • The formal and hidden curriculum
    • Criticisms of the Marxist view of education
    • Bowles and Gintis
    • Paul Willis and the counter school culture
    • Functionalists and achievement
    • Feminism and achievement
    • Marxists and achievement
    • Interactionism and achievement
    • Social class factors that affect success in school
    • Sociological research and social class
    • Gender and educational achievement
    • Ethnicity and educational achievement
    • School diversity
    • Alternative education
    • Education and politics
  6. Unit 6 - Crime and Deviance

    • How functionalism explains crime and deviance
    • Merton’s explanation of crime and deviance
    • Interactionalist explanation of crime and deviance
    • Feminist explanation of crime and deviance
    • Marxist explanation of crime and deviance
    • Marxism and law enforcement
    • Social control
    • Anti-social behaviour and social control
    • Sanctions for crime and deviant behaviour
    • The treatment of young offenders
    • Who commits crimes?
    • How criminal and deviant behaviour is explained
    • Interactionist view of social control
    • Functionalism and social control
    • Feminists’ view of social control
    • Marxism and social control
    • The media and public concern
    • Cohen – folk devils and moral panics
    • Different ways to measure crime
    • Patterns and trends in crime statistics
    • The social construction of crime
  7. Unit 7 - Social Stratification

    • What is social stratification?
    • The different types of social stratification
    • The functionalist perspective
    • The Marxist approach to socioeconomic class
    • Weber’s views on socioeconomic class
    • The Embourgeoisement Theory
    • Functionalist views on socioeconomic class
    • Feminist views on socioeconomic class
    • Life chances and health
    • Life chances and religion
    • Life chances and gender
    • Life chances and ethnicity
    • Life chances and young people
    • Life chances and old age
    • Life chances and disability
    • The functionalist view of life chances
    • The feminist view of life chances
  8. Unit 8 - Social Stratification: Poverty and Power

    • The New Right Theory of Welfare
    • Charles Murray and the ‘Underclass’
    • Feminism and Marxist theories on welfare
    • The functionalist view of poverty
    • Peter Townsend and measuring poverty
    • Power and authority
    • Weber and authority
    • Sylvia Walby’s Study of Patriarchy
    • Political power
  9. Unit 9 - Sociological Research Methods

    • The research process
    • Research questions, hypotheses and aims
    • Theoretical issues
    • Mixed approaches
    • Samples and sampling techniques
    • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
    • Types of data collection and sources
    • Primary and secondary sources of data collection
    • Participant observation
    • Practical issues when carrying out research
    • Solutions for practical problems
    • Informed consent
    • Anonymity and confidentiality
  10. Unit 10 - Preparing for the Exam

    • Course summary
    • Revision guidance
    • Examination preparation
    • Sample papers and grading scheme
    • Writing papers and essays
    • Practice Paper 1
    • Practice Paper 2

Awarding Body


AQA qualifications are internationally recognised and taught in 30 countries around the world, highly valued by employers and universities and enable young people to progress to the next stage of their lives. AQA qualifications suit a range of abilities and include GCSE and IGCSE courses, IGCSE courses and A-levels.

AQA GSCE Sociology Course Outcome

Upon successful completion of this home learning course, you will receive a GCSE in Sociology, issued by AQA. This syllabus (8192) has been chosen specifically because it is best suited to distance learning.

How is GCSE Sociology assessed or examined?

Sociology GCSE Exams & Assignments
You’ll be required to complete the two GCSE standard written exams, all of which must be taken in the same session.

    • Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks

    • Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks

We provide a guaranteed exam space in one of our partner exam centres around the UK. Check where your closest exam centre is.

There is no coursework to complete during your course. However, you will be required to complete 11 assignments and one introductory module. These do not contribute to your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

Entry requirements for AQA GCSE Sociology

There are no formal entry requirements for this level two GCSE Sociology course; however, it is recommended that you have an intermediate ability to read and write in English.

Past Papers

You can access past papers for this course. They are free to access and cover a range of exam boards.

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