The social sciences study society and the way people behave and influence the world around us. We believe that social sciences are fundamental to ensuring a healthy modern society. As a department we wish for each student to explore not only the world, but their place in it. The subject will help our students to explain how our society works, on an individual level as well as a group level. They will learn to realise the changes needed to tackle important issues such as fair access to education, recidivism and mental health. We aim to prepare our students for a career in a variety of fields, as in any job social intelligence, a broad perspective and cultural understanding will be highly valued. We hope students look at society differently and from multiple perspectives after studying with us.
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. The chosen course of study provides the students with a broad coverage of the many different psychological approaches, including biological, cognitive, behavioural, humanistic and psychodynamic. It is engaging and includes up-to-date research in the field. The course allows students to learn the fundamentals of the subject and incorporates practical research skills to permit students to engage in psychological work first-hand. They have multiple opportunities to design and conduct research, whilst considering the ethical implications of their work. The students are required to think critically about psychological theory and research in order to develop their understanding.
Sociology involves groups of people, rather than individuals, and attempts to understand the way people relate to each other and function society or social sub-group. The chosen course of study provides the students with a broad coverage of core sociological themes, including, socialisation, culture and identity. These run through many areas of social life and the focus is on applying these themes to contemporary UK society. The course allows students to engage with topics that are pertinent in their lives, such as the education system, families and households and beliefs in society. There is a key focus on engaging with current news so that students can draw on relevant real-life examples when interpreting sociology theory. As part of the course, students get the opportunity to attend Teesside Crown Court to appreciate and put into context the theories they have encountered in the classroom.