Social Science

Welcome to Social Science!Soc sci 8

The department offers three subjects at Post 16 – Psychology, Sociology and Criminology.

The department has been judged by the school to be consistently good overall with many elements being outstanding. The Social Science team firmly believes that all students are capable of great things and they set about instilling a growth mindset right from the beginning of their courses. For an understanding of growth mindset follow this link: Growth mindset video



Soc sci2Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour and is therefore directly related to people’s everyday lives. It is an intriguing subject as it tries to explain why people behave as they do. As part of the course you will investigate psychological themes such as relationships, schizophrenia, memory, attachment, biopsychology, social influence, forensics and many more topics.

The course will enable students to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills
  • develop interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society


At Cheam High School Psychology is taught in a fun and active way, using a range of teaching styles that both support and stretch you. Social Science teachers are great believers in putting psychological theory into action when you are taught. For example, they give you some brilliant tools to revise effectively. Examination technique is given high priority and exam results have consistently been very good.


Soc sci 3Sociology is the systematic study of society and human behaviour. Sociology is an exciting and lively subject, which will be relevant to you. Topics studied include: childhood, family diversity, personal life, social inequality, differences in educational achievement, the relationship between the media and crime, and the effects of globalisation on families, education, religion and crime.  Sociology encourages you to question and reflect upon things which others may take for granted.

The course will enable students to:

  • acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social processes and social changes
  • appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate
  • understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research process
  • develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society
  • develop a lifelong interest in social issues


The Sociology department offers a diverse and fun learning experience including games, debates, ICT, quizzes independent research, and critical thinking. You will be well supported with resources and extra help when needed outside of lessons. The department expects the very highest of standards from students and examination results have consistently been very good.


Soc sci 7Criminology is the study of crime and deviant behaviour and draws upon the research of sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists and philosophers. An understanding of criminology is relevant to many job roles within the criminal justice sector, social and probation work and sociology and psychology. WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology is a qualification with elements of psychology, law and sociology that complements studies in humanities. 

The course will enable students to develop:

  • skills required for independent learning and development 
  • a range of generic and transferable skills
  • the ability to solve problems 
  • the skills of project based research, development and presentation 
  • the fundamental ability to work alongside other professionals, in a professional environment 
  • the ability to apply learning in vocational contexts


At Cheam High School Criminology is taught in an interactive way using a range of teaching techniques that will help you engage with the real life application of the subject. Our teachers have a range of different life experiences aside from teaching that are drawn upon to ensure you really understand the various topics and you enjoy your studies. We use a variety of teaching methods to facilitate learning and provide the learners with many opportunities beyond the classroom.

Our Curriculum


We follow the AQA specification. The course is taught for five hours a week, with each lesson lasting one hour. The syllabus offers a grounding in classical and contemporary theories and studies, with interesting practicals and statistical analysis throughout. The course is assessed through examination only. These exams contain a mixture of short answer and extended writing questions.

The topics studied are: Social Influence, Developmental Psychology, Memory, Psychopathology, Schizophrenia, Relationships, Issues and Debates, Forensics and Research Methods.

For further information follow this link:


The AQA AS and A Level specifications are followed. The course is taught for five hours a week, with each lesson lasting one hour. The course is assessed through examination only. These exams contain a mixture of short answer and extended writing questions.

The topics studied are: Education with Theory and Methods; Families and Households; Beliefs in Society; Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods.

For further information follow this link:


We follow the WJEC specification for Criminology. The course is taught for five hours a week, with each lesson lasting one hour. The course is assessed through examination and coursework. The exams contain a mixture of short answer and extended writing questions. The coursework has a vocational basis that requires learners to design their own crime campaigns and review criminal cases.

The topics studies are: Changing Awareness of Crime, Criminological Theories, Crime Scene to the courtroom, Crime and Punishment.

For further information follow this link:

Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities

The department offers a number of enrichment opportunities, amongst others:

  • Social Science Clinic
  • Psychology Society
  • Lectures you can attend at local universities such as UCL, LSE and Surrey
  • Exhibitions you can attend at venues such as the Wellcome Collection, the Science Museum, the Photographers Gallery and the Freud Museum
  • Plays you can watch such as the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
  • Specialist A Level Psychology, Sociology and Criminology conferences
  • Subscriptions to specialist A Level Psychology and Sociology magazines
  • Keeping up-to-date with events, discussions and good learning ideas through twitter @CheamPsychology
  • Support with UCAS applications


A number of students have shown great ability, effort, willingness to share ideas and contribute to the department in an ambassadorial way. This ‘going the extra mile’ attitude has resulted in them receiving Jack Petchey Award.

Further Study and Career

Psychology, Sociology and Criminology prove to be hugely popular in the sixth form. High numbers of students continue their studies by following courses such as: Psychology, Sociology, Social Science, Criminology, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Science, Social Work, Childhood and Youth Studies, Primary Education, Sports Psychology and Counselling.

Following graduation past students have entered, amongst others, the following careers: teaching, criminology, forensic science, counselling, medicine, management, marketing, BBC, psychologist, civil service, nursing, social work, youth work, journalism and law.


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