Social Sciences


Edgbarrow offers a variety of social sciences as A Level courses.  These include Criminology, Sociology, Psychology and Health and Social Care. These courses provide an opportunity to explore a range of subjects that will challenge your way of thinking about the world and your place within it. The subjects we offer will help you be more informed and expand your quest for knowledge. 

Key Staff

Mrs Hume - Head of Department
Ms King - Teacher of Social Sciences and Head of Vocational Education
Miss Butler - Teacher of Social Sciences
Mrs Rumble - Teacher of Psychology
Mr Croxon - Teacher of Social Sciences
Mrs Philip - Teacher of Psychology and SEN
Miss Duncan - Teacher of Social Sciences


Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour and, as such, is concerned with why we think, feel and act as we do. Most students find this intrinsically interesting and are keen to find explanations for the actions both of others and themselves. Psychology uses the research methods of the sciences to investigate the human mind and to find out about and make sense of human behaviour. It seeks answers to such questions as: why do people behave the way they do? Why do people develop phobias? Will children imitate aggressive behaviour? Why do people obey?


Psychology uses the methods of the sciences to make sense of human behaviour. Studying Psychology will enable learners to investigate topics such as aggression, abnormality and dreams; psychology seeks answers to questions such as: how do childhood experiences influence us? Are the brains of killers different? 

Unit One: Studies and Applications in Psychology:  Written examination 50%  - 1 hour 15 minutes
This unit examines psychological research from the 5 main approaches in psychology and aims to answer questions such as:

  • How does our biology influence our gendered behaviour? Study of castrated twin boy raised as a girl
  • How does our memory work? Study of the memory of TV adverts

Unit Two: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2: Written examination 50%  - 1 hour 15 minutes
As with unit one different area of psychology are applied to questions such as:

  • Why do people commit a crime? Study of criminal genes
  • How does perception operate? Study of depth perception

Assessment for the GCSE is in the form of two final exams taken at the end of Year 11 of the course. Pupils starting the GCSE course from Sept 2017 will be graded 1-9.

GCSE Psychology can lead on to the study of any Social Science subjects in the Sixth Form - A Level Psychology, A Level Sociology, BTEC Health Care Studies and Diploma in Criminology. It is also an incredibly versatile subject and is beneficial for any career where you need to work with and influence people. Particularly good examples would be; advertising, marketing, human resources and management.


The first year of the course examines the approaches in psychology and some classical Psychology experiments as well as contemporary research. The second year of the course builds on this and examines the contribution psychology has made to understanding a range of issues including issues such as crime, our relationship to the environment and mental health issues.

What will lessons be like? You will be involved in many different activities such as being asked to give your thoughts on the issues through discussions. In addition, to reading and note taking there will be opportunities to watch documentaries, work in groups and research different aspects of a topic that interests you.

The course will give you a greater understanding of human behaviour and a wide range of transferable skills including data collection, analysis and written and oral communication. Therefore, these skills and knowledge of Psychology are relevant to any career involving contact with other people and particularly relevant to such careers in teaching, medicine, personnel management and social work, as well as, customer relations, the police, journalism, advertising, and the law.  An A Level in Psychology can help you to get into work but is also recognised as a sound preparation for University.

Assessment of the A-Level is in the form of three 2 hour final exams taken at the end of the second year of the course. 


Sociology asks lots of questions about the relationships between groups of people within society and explores issues of identity, inequality and power. This subject will allow you to see your social world in a different way and question the taken for granted assumptions about the way society lives. You will improve your skills in research, analysis and critical reasoning. Sociology primarily is the study of society and looks at how everyday experiences shape our lives. In particular, we will study patterns of behaviour within social groups and the impact of class, gender, ethnicity and age on social relationships.

The focus of the course will be the UK, but references will be made to other cultures as well. The first year of the course includes Socialisation and Culture and Identity, asking questions such as: How are cultures formed? How do we learn our identities from the environment around us? The second year builds on this and considers researching social inequalities and debates in society through topics such as crime and global digital media.

What will lessons be like? You will be involved in many different activities such as being asked to give your thoughts on the issues through debates and discussions. In addition, to reading and note taking there will be opportunities to watch documentaries and answer questions on topical issues and examine studies performed by social researchers to draw out strengths and weaknesses in their approach.

Assessment for A-Level is in the form of three 2 hour final exams taken at the end of the second year of the course.

After the course, many of our Sociology students go on to take degrees in Sociology or a related field such as Anthropology, Criminology or Education. It is a valuable subject for all types of work which involve an understanding of people and social relationships or the use of problem-solving and analytical skills. Common career pathways taken by Sociology graduates include journalism, law, PR, marketing, social research, politics, charity (NGO), development work, teaching, social work and nursing. 


The diploma is equivalent to one A-Level. Criminology examines why crime is committed (e.g. biological, psychological, and sociological explanations) as well as how the criminal justice system works and how crime leads to social policy change. The assessment includes coursework and examinations.

The focus of learning is on building informed, balanced and clear arguments through academic research and investigation of contemporary issues in crime and criminal justice. The course covers areas of sociology, psychology and law and therefore requires some extended writing in both coursework and exams.

Many students will continue to study Criminology or related courses at University. Employment possibilities in criminal justice include law enforcement, probation, parole as well as community support services. Opportunities also exist in research, policy analysis, journalism and information science. 

Health and Social Care
Level 2 and Level 3

What is Health and Social Care? As a subject discipline, Health and Social Care (H&SC) combines elements of Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Nutrition, Law and Ethics. Health and Social care BTEC are available at Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) and Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13). 

The topics covered in the courses are wide-ranging and interesting including  Applied Psychology, Safeguarding, Anatomy and Physiology, Communication in Care and Education.  Within your lessons, you will take part in discussions, role plays, presentations and independent research.  You will also be required to supply a range of written evidence to demonstrate that you have met the necessary criteria.  These will include reports,  presentations and extended writing.  Your teacher will guide you through this process to ensure you get the right support to reach your potential target grade. In addition, all students studying the Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care will have an opportunity to undertake a work placement alongside their academic studies; such as a placement in a nursery, residential home, hospital or other caring establishments and is subject to appropriate DBS clearance at the Enhanced level.

Assessments for the BTEC courses include internally marked assessments as well as one external examination.

The course can lead to both employment in the health and social care sector or higher education on a course such as Occupational Therapy, Sociology, Social Science, Mental Health Nursing, Paediatric Nursing and Early Years Teaching with PGCE.

For further information regarding our Social Sciences Curriculum please contact:
Mrs Hume