GCSE Sociology is available to external candidates. You do not need to have taken GCSE Sociology in order to study it at A-level.

Syllabuses open to External Candidates Edit

AQA GCSE Sociology - 8192 Edit

AQA syllabus, past papers and materials

What AQA say: Our GCSE Sociology specification provides students with the opportunity to study the sociology of families, education, crime and deviance and social stratification. Our specification is designed to be suitable for students with no prior knowledge of the subject. Students will develop their understanding of complex social structures, empirical investigation and constructing balanced arguments, as well strengthening their analytical and research skills.


Paper 1: The sociology of families and education (1 hr, 45 mins)

  • The sociology of families
  • The sociology of education
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification (1 hr, 45 mins)

  • The sociology of crime and deviance
  • The sociology of social stratification
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology


CIE IGCSE Sociology - 0495 Edit

CIE Syllabus, past papers and materials

What they say: " Through the Cambridge IGCSE Sociology syllabus, learners explore aspects of social relationships, processes and structures; as a result, they develop a greater understanding of human societies and the role of continuity and change in social life. Learners are encouraged to evaluate critically a variety of different social, economic and political structures, thereby learning more about the sociological method, and developing an ability to assess different forms of information and evidence. By relating the syllabus to the local context, teachers can help learners apply their developing sociological knowledge and understanding to the analysis of their own lives and their participation in society."

Paper 1 - 2 hours (including 15 minutes’ reading time): Candidates answer one compulsory data response question and one optional structured question from a choice of two.

Paper 2 - 1 hour 45 minutes (including 15 minutes’ reading time): Candidates answer two optional structured questions from achoice of four.

This syllabus is examined in the June and November examination series.

Comments from Home EducatorsEdit

"My daughter did the AQA GCSE Sociology. We used NEC, which was rather an expensive way to do it. It was an easy exam to do from home though, in the sense that there's no coursework/controlled assessment. The books she used are:

  • Collins Sociology GCSE for AQA
  • Collins Sociology Revision
  • NEC Sociology course
  • GCSE Sociology Booster from WHSmiths (useful book of definitions to revise from).

She really enjoyed the course. We did it with NEC, but I think you could do it with the recommended text books. There  was a lot of information to get through, but the exam papers were quite approachable. It was a couple of years ago, but as far as I remember  there were questions in sections, and essays which weren't too long. She enjoyed it I think, and it was a good background for going on to A level Psychology for her."


Eddis Tutorial - CIE Sociology IGCSE . Home educator and tutor Samantha Eddis has a page of information on the CIE syllabus and resources, but which may also be relevant to other syllabuses.

BBC Bitesize Sociology page - two units, on Understanding Social Structures, and Understanding Social Processes.

There is a facebook group you can join for ideas, resources and support: FB group link

Distance LearningEdit

Distance LearningEdit

Many home-educated students study Sociology GCSE successfully using just the textbook and free online resources, but some find a distance learning course suits their family better, or want to use a tutor occasionally for marking essays or past papers.

The big national distance learning companies offer psychology GCSE courses, but there are also some niche providers who specialise in home education. People generally report that the tutor support is what makes or breaks and online course; this means it's difficult to generalise about whether a particular large distance learning company is good overall, as it may have a brilliant tutor for one subject and a lacklustre one for another.

HomeMadeEducation Kat Sleep is a home-educator and experienced tutor offering on-line GCSE Psychology (Edexcel) and GCSE Sociology (AQA) courses. Highly recommended by fellow home educators.

Vicki-Marie Piper Venn offers online tuition in psychology and sociology. We have not had any feedback from members of the HE Exams groups, but her site says: "I specialise in tutoring home educated students, who currently constitute around 45% of all my students. For home educated students looking to apply to university I am able to be your Academic Referee and supply a reference to UCAS at no extra cost, provided that you are having weekly lessons with me."