Social Sciences

welcome to the social sciences department: Psychology; sociology and health and social care

Curriculum Rationale: Social Sciences


KS5 – A level Psychology AQA
Psychology at Key Stage 5 at AMA follows the AQA specification, which allows students to study a diverse range of topics that are all highly relevant in today’s society, as well as equipping students for university, regardless of the subject they choose to specialise in.   The focus in this course is on the individual and how information is processed.

Students who wish to take psychology at university will benefit from the slow build up of research methods over the year, which enables them to develop a strong knowledge foundation of how research is conducted, supports them to evaluate the studies they’re focussing on and will end at a point where they can design, and even conduct, a psychology study.  Additionally, students are able to understand how psychologists investigate important concepts that are very abstract and hard to operationalise.  Key areas of interest are human memory, attachment, and social influences.  Furthermore, mental health and mental illness is a pertinent issue which is broken down and explored in detail, including a focus on OCD, anxiety disorders, depression and schizophrenia.  Finally, students look at key psychological approaches and apply these to multiple scenarios and behaviours; applying these perspectives to explain human behaviour is key.  Students will go beyond this and look at key issues and debates from a philosophical standpoint so that they can discuss societal problems in a sophisticated manner.

Students who take psychology at A level but wish to take on a different subject at higher education will gain key skills with the A level, such as extended essay writing.  Being able to form an argument and write in an objective and scientific manner is key on the course and students will be able to take these skills onto their next destinations.  Within this writing, students learn how to extract key information from journals and key articles, as well as knowing how to properly reference and cite information using a Harvard referencing system.  Finally, students will explore societal and political issues in depth, such as how to treat criminals within aggression, social sensitive research that might existentially lead to racism and sexism, as well as analysing the credibility of such studies.


KS5 – A level Sociology OCR

The focus in this course is on large groups in society and breaking down the effects of being parts of key sub-groups in society.

Students who wish to take sociology on to university will benefit from learning about the key perspectives in detail, and how these can be applied to explain inequalities in society.  Inequalities studied in detail are those of age, ethnicity, class and gender.  These will be analysed from key perspectives such as Marxist, feminist, functionalist and from political perspectives such as left- and right-wing parties.  The course will lay the foundations to university courses that will explore sub-perspectives such as neo-Marxism, as well as different feminist perspectives, including radical, black, Marxist and liberal.  The complexity of human nature and society will be captured by getting students to understand intersectionality and overlap of multiple identities, and the effects these have.

For those that wish to follow a different pathway, the skills in sociology are transferrable. Students develop their skills in extended essay writing of 40-mark answers, and must learn how to present a balanced argument.  Additionally, key topics such as globalisation (which is exclusive to OCR sociology) focus on the modern world and how society is rapidly evolving and changing compared to traditional society.  We explore the effects this has had on crime, law, business, cultural loss and war. Students are given an important and relevant insight into how the world is rapidly evolving and the significance of their place in it.


KS5 – NQF BTEC Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care embodies a learner-centred approach which is flexible and is delivered through a unit-based structure. The knowledge applied is assessed through project-based assessments. It focuses on holistic development of the practical, interpersonal and thinking skills required to be able to succeed in employment and higher education in health, Social and Care sector.

Health and Social Care provides opportunities to develop skills:

  • cognitive and problem-solving skills: use critical thinking, approach non-routine, problems applying expert and creative solutions, use systems and technology
  • intrapersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation
  • interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development.

Health and Social care is a full time 2-year programme which enables learners to progress to a degree programme to apprenticeships and employment in health, social and care sector.

The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education institutions. For instance, if one chooses to opt for the National Diploma (2 A levels) in Health and Social, alongside it you could study:

  • an A Level in Biology, which could lead to a BSc (Hons) in Nursing or Midwifery
  • an A Level in Sociology, which could lead to a BA (Hons) in Social Work
  • a BTEC Certificate in Sport, which could lead to a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy
  • an A Level in Psychology, which could lead to a BSc (Hons) in Psychology or BA (Hons)

Examples of further career pathways are:

Adult Nursing to Mental Health Nursing (all areas of Nursing E.g. Disability Nursing) Childhood Studies, Social Worker, Early Years, Criminology, Law, Early childhood Education and Care, Youth and Community work, Teacher Training to NHS Apprenticeship routes like Health Care Assistant to support coordinating medical supplies etc.

Health and Social care develops transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression to university. The transferable skills that universities value include:

  • the ability to learn independently
  • the ability to research actively and methodically
  • being able to give presentations and being active group members.

Also, benefit from opportunities for deep learning where they can make connections among units and select areas of interest for detailed study. Health and Social Care provides a vocational context in which learners can develop the knowledge and skills required for degree courses, including:

  • effective writing
  • analytical skills preparation for assessment methods used in degrees.

Units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction (D), Merit (M), Pass (P), Near Pass (N) and

Unclassified (U). The grade of Near Pass is used for externally-assessed units only. All mandatory

and optional units contribute proportionately to the overall grade.


  • Unit 1 Human Lifespan Development (Exam)
  • Unit 5 Meeting Individual Care and Needs (Coursework)
  • Unit 2 Working in Health and Social care (Exam)
  • Unit 10 Sociological Perspectives (Coursework)
  • Unit 8 Promoting Public Health (Coursework)
  • Unit 4 Enquires into current Research in Health and Social Care (Controlled Assessment under exam conditions)
  • Unit 19 Nutritional Health(Coursework)
  • Unit 7 Principles of Safe Practice in Health and Social Care (Coursework)


Click the links below to download the content delivery overviews for social sciences:

Curriculum Overview – Social Sciences

Curriculum Overview – Health and Social Care