Welcome to the Social Sciences Department

We cover Psychology, Health and Social Care and Sociology. Please feel free to browse the information contained in these web pages.


  • Rachelle Sanderson
  • Chris Mowat
  • Miss K Wilson

Social Sciences Film

Health and Social Care - KS4 & KS5

Course title: BTEC Award in Health and Social Care (Key Stage 4)

Course Overview:

This qualification is made up of three units:

Unit 1: Human Lifespan Development You will investigate issues that affect human growth and development from childhood to old age, such as life-style, relationships and life-events.

Unit 2: Health and Social Care Values You will explore the different health and social care services available and you will understand ways of helping to support individuals that use these services.

Unit 3: Health and Well-being You will explore influences on our health, learn how to carry out simple health tests and create a health improvement plan for one individual as part of the exam


Human Lifespan Development           = Coursework

Health and Social Care Values          = Coursework

Health and Wellbeing                         = Exam

Exam Board: Edexcel

Course Length: 2 years

Progression to: This course gives students many skills that they may use in their future, whether or not they pursue a career in health and social care. Students can also progress onto the BTEC National Level 3 course

Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Visiting speakers
  • Health promotion Activity
  • Coursework catch-up workshops


  • Thackray Medical Museum

Course title: BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care (Key Stage 5)

Course Overview:

The course consists of 4 units over two years.

The units of study include:  

  • Year 1           
    • Unit 1 - Human Lifespan Development
    • Unit 2 - Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs
  • Year 2
    • Unit 3 - Working in Health and Social Care
    • Unit 4 - Physiological Disorders and their Care


A variety of assessment methods are used on this course. Units 1 and 2 are assessed by written examination, unit 3 by controlled assessment and unit 4 by a coursework assignment. The qualification is graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction (equivalent to E, C or A grades at A-Level respectively).

Exam Board: Edexcel

Course Length: 2 years

Special Features:

BTEC Nationals are qualifications that are designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications in Health and Social Care. They give students the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare them for higher education and/or employment.  They take an innovative and practical approach to learning.

Career Opportunities:

Contrary to what many people think, Health and Social Care is not just for girls who want to be nurses. The course allows you to build skills as well as technical knowledge. It gives a broad base of understanding in a wide range of areas of Health and Social Care which have been specifically selected to appeal to students who want to go into a wide range of occupations, from managerial jobs to practical social care like social work and probation work. The broad areas of study offer a great opportunity to explore different areas before deciding on any particular career path.

Psychology - KS4 & KS5

Course title: GCSE Psychology (Key Stage 4)

Course Overview:

  • Unit 1:
    • Topic 1: Criminal Psychology - this topic considers different psychological explanations of why people commit crimes.
    • Topic 2: Developmental Psychology – students learn how our brain and mental processes develop across the life-span.
    • Topic 3: Psychological Problems – this topic explores different mental disorders including depression and schizophrenia
  • Unit 2:
    • Topic 1: Social Influence – students will explore how behaviour is influenced by the people around us and the situations we find ourselves in.
    • Topic 2: Memory – this topic will cover explanations of how we remember and forget
    • Topic 3: Sleep and Dreaming – this topic covers sleep disorders and explanations of why we dream.


The qualification is assessed by two written examinations, each representing 50% of the total marks for the GCSE

Exam Board: OCR

Course Length: 1 year

Progression to: Students who study this course often progress onto A-Level Psychology in Sixth Form transferring skills learnt within the GCSE.

Extra-Curricular Activities: After-school intervention and revision sessions

Course title: A Level Psychology (Key Stage 5)

Course Overview:

Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists are concerned with how our experience and understanding of the world influences our behaviour. There are 3 units, all assessed by external examination. Throughout the course students will complete several practicals including experiments, surveys and observations.

  • Year 1
    • Unit 1 Psychological Investigations - you will study the main methods that psychologists use to investigate human behaviour and the theories that help psychologists to explain behaviour.
    • Unit 2 Core Studies - you will study 20 of the most interesting and influential psychological investigations ever carried out. By doing this you will find answers to many interesting questions, including whether the average person is willing to give a lethal electric shock to a complete stranger, how our environment affects our memory and why children become aggressive. 
  • Year 2
    • Unit 3 - Applied Psychology - you will study three popular areas of psychology; mental health, forensic psychology and environmental psychology.
  • Metal health focuses on how psychologists can diagnose, explain and treat psychological illnesses.
  • Forensic psychology focuses on the ways psychologist help police to understand, apprehend and rehabilitate criminals.
  • Environmental psychology focuses on how the physical environment affects people’s behaviour.

Exam Board: OCR

Course Length: 2 years

Special Features:

The demands of the course require students to write effective essays, evaluate research, conduct practicals and analyse data mathematically. Students will need a variety of skills, including a good command of English and a systematic and scientific approach to data collection.

Career Opportunities:

A-Level Psychology is useful for gaining acceptance onto many higher education courses. Careers specific to psychology include: clinical psychology, teaching and educational psychology, health psychology, sports psychology, forensic psychology, psychiatric nursing and social work. Psychology also has application to many other careers including management, advertising, personnel and careers in the legal system.


Sociology is offered at Post 16 and students have the option of taking the AS Course over one year or the A2 Course over rwo years.  The usual entry requirement is line with the standard school requirements for A Level Study.  At least a ´C´ Grade in English Language will be needed to begin the course.

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of our society, including how it works and how social problems occur.

Sociologiss would therefore be interested in investigating the following questions?

  • What is the role of education?
  • How has the ´British Family´ changed over the years?
  • What is the purpose of social policies?
  • Why does the crime rate go up and down?
  • Who controls the mass media - owners or customers?

A Level Sociology (AQA)

Course Content:

Sociology is the study of society and this course is suitable for anyone who is interested in people’s lives. Sociologists collect information about society and try to explain why things happen in the world we live in. Areas that sociologists have studied are numerous and include wealth and poverty, media violence, racism, marriage and divorce, crime and health. Typical questions sociologists may try and answer are:

  • Is crime on the increase, and if so why?
  • Why are some groups of children within society more likely to fail at school?
  • How does your gender affect your chances in life?

The aims of this course are for students to acquire knowledge, an understanding of how society works, develop views to debate upon a range of social issues, understand and evaluate theories about society, and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research; to think about personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society and to develop a lifelong interest in social issues. If you enjoy debate, reading newspapers and watching documentaries then Sociology is a good course for you!

The course is designed so that candidates will acquire the essential knowledge and understanding of central aspects of sociological thought and methods, together with the application of a range of skills.

There are 3 units of study, all of which are assessed by examination. In both years of the course you will be given the opportunity to explore methods of investigation and data analysis used by sociologists alongside the major theories of social change put forward by sociologists.

  • Year 1
    • In the first year, the course focuses on the study of families and households and an analysis of the role of education in society.  Typical activities involve looking at trends within family relationships such as marriage or divorce rates, exploring the dark side of the family and analysing how your background affects your educational achievement.
  • Year 2
    • In year 13, you will explore a range of topics varying from the mass media to crime.  You will consider if the world is getting smaller. How does the mass media shape the view we view people? Who really holds the power in our society – is it the people or the politicians? You will investigate crime rates and see if we can understand why some people commit crimes, when others do not.  

Special Features:

The demands of the course require students to write effective essays, evaluate research and analyse data. Students will need a variety of skills, including a good command of English and a systematic and scientific approach to data collection.

Career Opportunities

A-Level Sociology is useful for gaining acceptance onto many higher education courses. This subject is particularly well suited to combine with subjects like Psychology, History, Geography, and for students wishing to study science/social science-based courses. Careers specific to sociology include: social work and services, teaching and education, governmental and regional planning departments, journalism, research firms, law enforcement, training and human development. Sociology also has application to many other careers including management, advertising, personnel and careers in the legal system.

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