The Sociology GCSE Course asks questions such as: Why are there poor people and rich people? Why is it "right" to wear some clothes but not others (or none at all!)? Is there such a thing as "society"? With the aid of entertaining cartoons and numerous activities, this stimulating home study course analyses questions like these and casts a new slant on many aspects of modern life.

Sociology is the study of human society. As a discipline it embraces a variety of viewpoints all of which, however, share the common pursuit of increasing our understanding of the social world. Sociology places the individual within a social context. It is concerned with the study of social structures, social processes and social issues. In pursuit of this study it has developed a unique and distinctive range of concepts applicable to any human society.

Each lesson of the Sociology GCSE course begins with a set of clearly stated objectives and an explanation of its place in the overall programme of study.

Effective learning is encouraged through frequent activities and self-assessment questions, and there is guidance for the preparation of coursework. There are eight tutor-marked assignments including one practice exam paper. No previous knowledge of the subject is assumed or required..

The Syllabus:

The Sociology GCSE course prepares students for AQA GCSE Sociology syllabus 4190, for exams in May/June 2018. Assessment is by two written papers (50% each). A resit paper will be available in May/June 2019.

Please Note: This specification will be available until the May/June 2018 exams, and a new specification (8192) with the new grading system will be introduced in 2017 for first exams in May/June 2019. A course for the new specification should be available in late 2017.

Paper 1 - Studying Society; Education; Families (1 Hour, 30 Minutes) is 50% of the total marks. Students answer all questions in all three sections. Each section consists of one question, sub-divided into part-questions. The Education and Families sections offer two options for the final part-question.

Summary of Content:

  • Studying Society
  • Education
  • Families

Paper 2 - Crime and Deviance; Mass Media; Power; Social Inequality (1 Hour, 30 Minutes) is 50% of the total marks. Students choose three sections from four section options and answer all questions in each chosen section. Each section consists of one structured question, sub-divided into part-questions. Each section offers two options for the final part-question.

Summary of Content:

  • Crime and Deviance
  • Mass Media
  • Power
  • Social Inequality


There are no prerequisites for starting this course.


No coursework is required.

Additional Reading:

No additional textbook is required to study the Sociology GCSE course, although there are recommendations for supplementary reading with the course pack.

Student Support:

Every student receives a personal tutor with whom they should keep in regular contact. All tutors are fully qualified experienced teachers holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a degree in education. Most work from home and are able to offer flexible contact times. The tutor will contact students with an introductory letter and a telephone call to help decide on a study plan. They will also let the student know the best ways and times for contact.

There is no limit on how often you can contact your tutor. The advice and encouragement our tutors provide are an important part of your learning experience. You can contact your tutor by Phone, Post or Email. There are tutor-marked assignments (TMA's) in every course. These help the student to consolidate their learning and prepare for examinations.

All tutors have a Freephone 0800 telephone number and most will have Skype capabilities. Whilst you are still actively submitting assignments, you should expect to be in contact with your tutor regularly. Remember, to get the most out of your tutor, you will need to tell them when you need assistance.

Examination Centres:

There are currently over 300 testing centres across the country, so finding one close by is not very difficult. In December/January we contact you to start arranging your examination dates. We always try to give whatever help we can with examination information, but the entering of students for examinations and any dealings with the examination centres are entirely the responsibility of the student.

Nearest Examination Dates:

Please review the GCSE Overview page for detailed information on possible examination dates and procedures.

GCSE Examination Fees:

Examination fees need to be paid direct to your chosen exam centre. Prices for exams will vary depending on the exam centre's administration costs. You can find out further information about the Private Candidate process and locate suitable exam centres from the AQA Private Candidate Page.

Studying from Abroad:

It is possible to study GCSE Courses from anywhere in the world. However some home study courses are easier to study from abroad than others and some restrictions to the type of tuition available apply. If you wish to study a GCSE then you will need to sit the examinations in the UK. Please remember that most GCSEs have several examinations which may well be spread over several weeks.

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