The social sciences study society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us. This subject area can help us to explain how our society works. The social sciences department offers psychology and sociology at A Level and is committed to providing an inclusive, enjoyable learning environment. We strive to develop independent thought, critical analysis, communication, curiosity, empathy and personal achievement within and beyond the classroom setting.
Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. In the A level course students will examine the biological, cognitive, social and cultural influences on our behaviour, for example, how genes can contribute to mental illness and how we are more likely to copy someone’s behaviour if they are of a similar age to us. The students will also study specific topics including memory, relationships and crime. As a science, psychology is dedicated to the study of human behaviour through careful observation, measurement and testing. This allows data to be collected and analysed so that conclusions can be formed that are based on sound scientific methodology. As part of the course, students will get the opportunity to design and conduct psychological research, whilst considering the ethical implications of their work.
Sociology involves groups of people, rather than individuals and attempts to understand the way people relate to each other and function as a whole society or social sub-group. It focuses on social structures, such as the role and function of the education system. In the A Level course students will study the family, including changing gender roles and the nature of childhood. In addition, the topic of crime and deviance, including its prevention and punishment, is studied in depth. Sociology uses a range of research methods and sources of data to generate its explanations and draw conclusions about society. As part of the course, students will get the opportunity to attend Teesside Crown Court to appreciate and put into context the theories they have encountered in the classroom.