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 a choice of four.

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

Comments from Home EducatorsEdit

"AQA Sociology is a relatively simple option for students who have interest in politics and working of society. We've done AQA from following the spec, textbooks and a group class for discussion. The longer mark questions can feel a bit scary when you start if you have a child who isn't a big writer, but they are quite 'formulaic' in how they are written so can practice techniques. It was my son's first subject and he's really enjoyed it. "


Printed Resources Edit

AQA Collins textbook - Nice layout, useful activities, but I think lacking enough information. But if follow spec closely and supplement good base. 

AQA Hodder textbook - More information but still gaps particularly around the key studies.  

Hodder produce a couple of workbooks to supplement the textbook, answers available online. Paper 1 and Paper 2 .

Revision books My Revision Notes and Collins Revision Guides 

Other useful books for reading around the subject Head's Up Sociology, The Sociology Book, Sociology; a Graphic Guide   

Online Resources Edit

Seneca Excellent resource. We've only used the free courses.

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

Gojimo Revision App Not used but free app.

Printable resources Edit

Sociology Support training and support for sociology teachers. The resources section has some free printables.

Sociology Stuff Aimed at A'level, lots of free factsheets and questions. Many are relevant for GCSE.

Get Revising Lots of revision materials, worth checking the dates as some predate current specs

Collins Flashcards Free flashcards in the form of Q&As

TES Mostly paid resources and of mixed quality but if you feel need of something extra for a topic worth a look.

Blogs Edit

All Sociology Instagram Instagram page

ReviseSociology A’level pitched resource but lots of useful commentary to help with the analysis side on the 12 mark Qs

Sociology Blog Aimed at Sociology teachers, lots of useful links and commentary.

Videos Edit

Crash Course Fun way to reinforce ideas

Exam support Excellent videos for helping withe revision and exam prep, particularly using studies.

Podcasts Edit

The Sociology Show Podcasts mainly in the form of interviews with contemporary sociologists

Podology Sociology Podcasts

Other resources Edit

Key Terms List of key terms by AQA

Key Studies Summaries of key studies from AQA

Tutors2U Aimed at A’level mainly but good for checking key terms/ideas/studies

Sociology Twynham Another aimed at A’level mainly but useful for info on key terms/ideas/studies

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.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation Useful for social stratification and poverty

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 run by 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."

Whole Brain Home Education provides online tuition in Sociology with online classes. The sessions are interactive and use a whole brain approach to learning. The classes are run by experienced Home Educators. The whole syllabus for Sociology is taught over a year from May-exams. Students receive packs that includes all resources they need for the course including text books, work books, pens and whiteboards. Whole Brain Home Education uses a range of online resources to maintain interest and appeal to different styles of learning. They have great reviews on their Facebook page.

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