Social Sciences

Plymstock Social Sciences Department

The Faculty

There is a purpose built Social Sciences Faculty area which includes business studies, criminology, psychology and sociology. We are lucky enough to be housed in an ECO building which opened in October 2013. The classrooms are extremely well designed and equipped with climate control and overhead projectors. The faculty has a work room for staff members and a computer suite housing 30 computers. The Faculty has a Twitter account @SocSciPlymstock which is used as a means of sharing wider reading with the students.

Business Studies

This is an option from year ten and beyond. The GCSE is split into 6 topics; Business Activity, Marketing, People, Operations, Finance and Influences on business activity.

In year 10 we cover the first three topics. We discuss the types of businesses ownership, how you can go about starting a business and who is involved in each type of business. We set lots of business related tasks and use case studies frequently to see how you would fare in the real world! Marketing comes next; the need for market research, pricing, promoting and outreach to the public in order to sell your products and services. Finally in year 10, we delve into the people involved in a business; how a business is structured, employment law and communications.

In year 11 we begin exploring the operational aspects of business; production processes, quality management, consumer law and procurement to name a few. Next we delve into the world of finance and accounting; exploring sources of finance for business, revenue, costs, profit and cash flow. We follow the money through the cycle from customers pockets to business profits! The final unit covers ethical and environmental considerations for businesses. We pose questions relating to the business climate today and get the students thinking carefully as to how they would respond to differing situations, ensuring you don’t damage the businesses precious reputation!

Our Technicals qualifications (A Level equivalent) in Business develops students’ core skills and understanding of the requirements of the business sector. Students gain hands-on experience and have the opportunity to focus on specific topics such as the business environment, customers and communication, working in business and business events. In year 12 we have previously visited a local Golf Club and closely inspected how they interact and respond to the needs of their customers. In year 13 we have previously stayed at Butlin’s in Minehead for the weekend, with an organised insight into business events. This course is split into part coursework and exams.


This is fast becoming the most popular post 16 subject at the school. It is a Level 3 qualification, and we study the Diploma offered by WJEC, with the students being awarded A*- E grades, in line with the ‘regular’ A Levels.  The students are given a thorough introduction to the various elements of criminology including the theories, the impact of crime on society, the way crime is covered in the media, different types of crime, forensic techniques and the complex workings of the criminal justice system.  There are two controlled assessments and two examinations that make up the final grade.  The students receive ten hours of lessons per fortnight. Students will be given the opportunity to visit the wider workings of the criminal justice system, including the courts and prisons, and we invite many external speakers in to discuss their roles.  Many of our students have gone on the work as prison officers, the police and to study criminology at university.


This is the one of the most popular advanced level subjects at the school. The students who opt to study psychology are very enthusiastic and able and a significant number of them go on to study psychology at university. The students receive ten hours of psychology per fortnight. High expectations are made of the students and we use regular assessments to inform planning and differentiation and to ensure that the students are meeting their targets. The topic areas we study are social influence, attachment, memory, psychopathology, research methods, biopsychology, issues and debates, approaches, schizophrenia, relationships, forensics and addiction. Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and experience. It takes a scientific approach based on experimentation and students learn how to design experiments and analyse material using statistics. In addition they read about and evaluate the work of psychologists and write lots of essays. It is an excellent subject to study for those considering a career working with people such as nursing, social work, teaching, medicine, the police, clinical psychology, management, personnel, advertising, speech therapy, business etc.


This is another popular advanced level subject at the school and many of the students go on to study this at university. Students have ten hours of lessons per fortnight.  Sociology is actually the study of society, people as individuals and in groups. We follow the AQA Specification and the topic areas we study are education, families and households, research methods, the media and crime and deviance.  It is a great subject to study for those considering a career working with people such as social work, housing, social services, nursing, child-care, the armed forces, the police, personnel management, business, advertising, teaching, medicine, probation, occupational therapy, the law, town planning etc. It is also a fantastic foundation for any degree. It is a stimulating subject that encourages people to look at the world in a different way.

Events Calendar

Jul 01

Year 12 Induction Days

July 1 - July 2
Jul 04
Jul 19

End of term 6

July 19
View the Calendar