Social Sciences

Health and Social Care

Key Stage 4

Why choose Health and Social Care?

As part of a Key Stage 4 programme, learners will be studying a broad range of GCSEs, including English, mathematics and science. The BTEC Tech Award suite has been designed to allow learners to draw on the knowledge and skills acquired from these subjects where relevant. When studying for a ‘BTEC’, learners can use the knowledge and skills from GCSEs, giving them the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge to everyday and work contexts.

About 3 million people work in health and social care. Health care roles include doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, while social care roles include care assistants, occupational therapists, counsellors and administrators. Together, they account for nearly one in ten of all paid jobs in the UK. Demand for both health and social care is likely to rise, so they will continue to play a key role in UK society and the demand for people to carry out these vital roles will increase. Study of this sector at Key Stage 4 will complement GCSE study through providing an opportunity for practical application alongside conceptual study. There are also strong opportunities for post-16 progression in this important sector.

The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • development of key skills that prove your aptitude in health and social care such as interpreting data to assess an individual’s health
  • process that underpins effective ways of working in health and social care, such as designing a plan to improve an individual’s health and wellbeing
  • attitudes that are considered most important in health and social care, including the care values that are vitally important in the sector, and the opportunity to practise applying them
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as human growth and development, health and social care services, and factors affecting people’s health and wellbeing.

This Award complements the learning in GCSE programmes such as GCSE English. It will complement the more theoretical aspects covered by GCSE Biology or GCSE Psychology by allowing you to apply your knowledge and skills practically in a vocational context.

How does the course work?

The course comprises 3 components, 1 exam and 2 are submitted as coursework. This qualification covers a broad basis of study for the health and social care sector.

  • Component 1 Human Lifespan Development: Coursework
  • Component 2 Health and Social Care Services and Values: Coursework
  • Component 3 Health and Wellbeing: Exam

Students must pass all components and will be awarded an overall grade. 

Key Stage 5

Why choose Health and Social Care?

With a track record built over 30 years of learner success, BTEC Nationals are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the signature vocational qualification at Level 3. They provide progression to the workplace either directly or via study at a higher level. Proof comes from YouGov research, which shows that 62% of large companies have recruited employees with BTEC qualifications. What’s more, well over 100,000 BTEC students apply to UK universities every year and their BTEC Nationals are accepted by over 150 UK universities and higher education institutes for relevant degree programmes either on their own or in combination with A Levels.

Students study Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care Equivalent in size to one A Level. 

How does the course work?

It comprises 4 units of which 2 are external examinations and 2 are submitted as coursework. This qualification covers a broad basis of study for the health and social care sector. This qualification is designed to support progression to higher education when taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels.

Year 12

  • Unit 1 Human Lifespan Development: Exam
  • Unit 2 Working in Health and Social Care: Exam

Year 13

  • Unit 5 Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs: Coursework
  • Last last unit is one that will be decided based on the specialism of the teacher delivering the course.


Students will gain the knowledge and skills to prepare themselves for further study in many sectors. Particularly sectors which involve caring for the vulnerable such as, nursing, social care, caring for the elderly and working with young people.  In addition this course will support students in any career which requires them to work with others. 


Sociology is the study of modern British society and its structures. It aims to explain the world around us and how it changes over time. It also looks at the organisations within society and how these influence our lives. Sociology is a subject that requires a very critical view on evidence and it is necessary to be able to see more than one side of the story.

Key Stage 4

Paper 1 – Understanding social processes, will cover how human beings acquire their identity and examine the process of passing on culture from generation to generation in diverse settings. Learners will be encouraged to contemplate how they acquire their individual identity. They will study in depth the role of the family and the education system in the processes of socialisation, providing learners with a deeper, more theoretical and analytical understanding of the social world around them.

Paper 2  – Understanding social structures, will involve learners examining social structures in society and examining the ways these influence human behaviour. Learners will examine competing theories on the causes of inequality in society through sociological theory. They will also study crime and deviance in society looking at patterns in this area and its effectiveness as a form of social control.

Assessment in Year 11 is 2 exam papers each carrying 50% of the marks and lasting 1hour 45 mins. A mixture of short 1 mark questions and essay questions ranging to 15 marks. Both papers marked out of 100.

Key Stage 5

In Year 12 we cover Education which is a compulsory topic and Culture and Identity as our optional subject area. These are taught with integrated research methods which must be applied to a given context in the education sector.

In Year 13 the topics covered are Crime & Deviance (compulsory) with integrated sociological theory and methods and for our optional subject we look at the Mass Media and their role in contemporary society.

Socialisation, social differentiation, power and stratification are concepts which are embedded throughout the 2 years of the course. Students will be expected to make links to this and the real world in their assessments.

Formal assessment is at the end of Year 13. This will be in the form of 3 exam papers which are each 2 hours long with each contributing 33.3% of your overall marks.

Why choose sociology?

Sociology is about your life and the world around you. It is a subject that you will have experience of and one that will help you understand many aspects of your future. You can bring your own life events and ideas into the classroom in a way you might not be able to with other subjects. It helps you understand that the society we are presented with is not always the true picture and it will help you understand who is trying to manipulate your ideas and why they are trying to do that. If you know this, you can make more informed choices about your lives and your future.

What makes a good sociology student?

You need to be open minded. Some things that you “know” are not always accurate. You will need to be able to analyse the information given to you and make decisions about its accuracy and representativeness. You will need to be able to view society from many different perspectives – and accept that different people see the same concept in different ways. You will also be able to listen to and accept the views of others – even if you do not agree with them. A good sociology student keeps to deadlines, can organise their time effectively, can revise efficiently, has good written and verbal literacy skills and is interested in the world around them. A good sociology student enjoys thinking critically and keeping  up to date with current affairs by watching the news and reading a newspaper.



There are many careers where a qualification in sociology is useful. For example, many sociologists go into social work – community projects, charity work, welfare advisors and other areas of social services. Other careers are civil service, prison officers, journalists, police and teaching. A qualification in sociology will provide you with many key skills, including logical thinking, planning, research and negotiation – all of which can be used in a variety of careers.


Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour, and bridges the gap between the academic study of the social sciences and the natural sciences. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of psychological research; the ability to apply this knowledge to real life situations; critically analyse and evaluate the value of psychological research and its credibility as an explanation of human behaviour. Psychology will appeal to students who are curious about people and are interested in exploring the scientific basis of their behaviour. Psychology students need to be sensitive, open minded and willing to accept that there are no ‘right or wrong’ answers. Psychology is a science with cutting edge research that can be applied to issues we see in everyday life, such as psychological disorders, stress and aggression.

Key Stage 4

The GCSE course is made up of 8 topic areas; criminal psychology, human development, psychological problems, social influence, memory, sleep and dreaming, biopsychology and research methods. The biopsychology topic is embedded throughout the course making it explicitly relevant to each of the other areas studied rather than a standalone subject.  Research methods is taught across year one and two of the course as it applies to the information being studied.

For each of the other 6 topics students will focus on key concepts, relevant theories and explanations, as well as two specific research studies; one classic and the other modern day and how this information can be applied to the world around them.

Knowledge will be tested in exam form at the end of Year 11. Students will sit 2 papers of one hour thirty minutes each. Each paper is weighted equally and accounts for 50% of their overall GCSE grade.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

We will study

  • Social influence
  • Biopsychology
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Psychopathology (mental illness)
  • Research  methods

Year 13

The topics covered are the same as year 12 and also

  • Issues and debates in Psychology
  • Relationships 
  • Schizophrenia
  • Forensic Psychology

Students will be assessed by 3 written exams, each 2 hours long and 33.3% of A-level grade.  Questions Section A: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks; Section B: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks; Section C: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks Section D: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks.

Why choose psychology?

Psychology is a fascinating and challenging subject that not only gives learners an insight into human behaviour but also develops transferable skills that can be applied to a wide range of disciplines. The scientific nature of the subject enables students to develop their analytical thinking skills and examine not only what makes individuals behave in a particular way but the possible implications of this behaviour for themselves and society.

What makes a good psychology student?

Successful psychologists are critical thinkers who weigh up the evidence presented and come to informed conclusions. They have a true interest in the motivations behind human behaviour and the ways in which this can be used in the real world. There is some essay writing as part of this qualification and the most successful students will not only learn the theory and research but be able to look at what it shows us and why this matters, therefore thinking analytically is a distinct advantage. Reading around the subject ensures that students always have a variety of evidence and are up to date with the most advanced research in the field that they are examining.


A qualification in psychology can often lead to careers in the health industry, these include:

Clinical psychologist, working in outpatient clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and community and mental health centres in a variety of roles. Alternatively psychology can be useful in a business environment often in a human resources setting or marketing departments. Both the prison service and social services also offer career opportunities for students of psychology.


Criminology looks at the theoretical aspects behind the distribution of crime and deviance in society. How and why do crimes occur and what is their impact on the society in which we live? Taking into consideration research from sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, biologists, social anthropologists, as well as legal professions this subject examines not only at how and why crime happens but also what should be done as a consequence.

Key stage 5

The  WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma is a qualification with elements of psychology, law and sociology. This is a two year course with assessments spread over the course. 

In year 12 students will study two different units:

Unit one – The changing awareness of crime – In this unit learners will examine different types of crime,  influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported.

Unit two – Criminological theories – This will look at a number of different theoretical perspectives on why people commit crime.

In year 13 students will study a further two units: 

Unit three – From crime scene to courtroom – unit will provide an understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified to the verdict. Learners will develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases.

Unit four – Crime and punishment – learners will apply their understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control to deliver criminal justice policy.

Why choose criminology?

This qualification is excellent preparation for higher education courses in related disciplines. As well as this it allows learners to gain the required understanding and skills to be able to consider employment within some aspects of the criminal justice system, e.g. the National Probation Service, the Courts and Tribunals Service or the National Offender Management Service.

How does the course work?

Your assessments will be split across the two years. Unit one will be examined through a controlled assessment which will be held in school over a two day period in year 12. Unit two is sat as an external examination in May/June of year 12. In year 13 the same pattern will be repeated with unit 3 being the controlled assessment and unit four the examined unit, again taking place in May /June. This qualification carries the same UCAS points as traditional A levels.

Extra Curricular Opportunities 

A Level psychology students visit London Zoo for a workshop on how to overcome phobias and a demonstration of systematic desensitisation techniques. Psychology students also take part in a brain day event, in which an external speaker presents information to them about their brains and presents a live dissection of a sheep brain. Year 10 GCSE sociology students visit the History of Education Museum for a half day workshop on changes to the British Education System. Criminology students will have the opportunity to visit court rooms and attend talks held by external speakers. In health and social care students are able to meet members of relevant professions and ask them questions about their careers.


  • Ms Annie Willcox – Head of Department; Teacher of Sociology & Psychology
  • Mr Robert Findon – Teacher of Sociology; Head of Year 10; DofE Award Coordinator
  • Miss Sam Walker – Teacher of Psychology and Teacher of Maths
  • Mrs Mouri Hall – Teacher of Criminology; Head of Geography
  • Mr Nick Wright – Teacher of Criminology and Teacher of History
  • Miss Rachael Buchanan – Teacher of Health & Social Care; Post 16 Vocational & Alternative Provision Lead
  • Mr Matt Fellowes – Teacher of Psychology