Social Sciences at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

We offer Economics, Politics, Psychology and Sociology at A Level.



Economics is a fascinating subject that helps students to understand the world around them and how society distributes its resources. Students will study issues from Brexit to Government debt, and why footballers get paid more than nurses to how the Chancellor influences the economy, as well as many more. Students will have the opportunity to develop opinions and justify them on pressing and challenging problems facing society.

We follow the OCR exam specification, which can be found at this link.

Economics is a very well regarded subject, it is so broad and such a significant subject that it impacts on a number of other subjects. Accordingly, it complements and supports most other subjects but students particularly benefit when they study Economics with:

Economics courses are available at a range of universities and studying Economics at AS/A Level will provide students with a sound knowledge base which will be beneficial when studying a range of other degrees including Law, Accounting and Finance, Business, Geography, History and Politics.

Economics will benefit students no matter what they choose as a career. Economics graduates are likely to be some of the highest earning graduates.  It is particularly beneficial to those who wish to pursue careers in: economics, management, stock-broking, finance, banking, accountancy, journalism, diplomacy, data analysis, the Civil Service, marketing, advertising, law, politics and charity sector. 



We follow the AQA specification which can be found at this link.

Politics is the broad, universal, and essential study of how governments, policies, and internal relations work. Politics plays a role in every country in the world, whether it be federal, democratic, communist or republic. It’s through politics that many important questions are answered, and global challenge are addressed – including human rights, poverty, equality, and welfare.

Studying A-level Government and Politics over two years at Durham Johnston will provide insight into political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world. It also develops analytical and evaluative skills in relation to interesting topics prevalent in the turbulent political climate of today. We focus on the politics of the UK, the politics of the US and political ideologies (Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism).

Studying this subject will develop your understanding of structures of authority and power, how political systems differ, and enable you to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics and government. You will also develop a range of transferrable analytical, debating and communication skills - all of which are valuable in a wide range of careers.

The course also provides foundation of political knowledge on which to develop skills for citizenship and university study. Example degree courses which generally require Politics A-level include Politics, Economics, Journalism, Law, International Relations, History and Social Policy.

Students achieve well by keeping up to date with current affairs by reading a quality broadsheet newspaper, watching quality news journalism and reading political literature. They also achieve by participating in civic society, for instance, being a member of a political party, working for a pressure group or getting involved in local campaigns.



Psychology is known as ‘the science of mind and behaviour’, and covers a wide range of interesting topics throughout the one or two years including:  Forensics (are criminals born or made?, treatments & sentencing), Gender (is gender controlled by Biological sex or social influences?), Schizophrenia (Symptoms, explanations & treatments), Psychopathology (phobias, depression, OCD) and Memory (theories of memory, forgetting & Eye Witness Testimony).

It is a highly regarded STEM subject (science, technology, engineering and maths) by Russel Group Universities.

We follow the AQA exam specification, which can be found at this link.

The aim of this course is to give you a good grounding in the basics of psychology, to stimulate your enthusiasm to learn more and to provide a context in order to see where this subject could take you.

Psychology has a wide range of directly related careers which include: clinical psychology, child psychology, forensic psychology, counselling psychology, educational psychology and sports psychology.

With the increasing demand from employers for general and transferable skills including analytical thinking, research skills, strategy development, problem solving, and content writing skills there are many other excellent employment prospects for graduates.

Psychology can be advantageous to a wide variety of other careers including: medicine, law, advertising, sales, social work, personnel management, careers guidance, police and broadcasting.



We follow the AQA exam specification, which can be found at this link.

Sociology is the study of society - how people interact in groups. Studying Sociology at Durham Johnston will allow you to examine social behaviour from a variety of perspectives: how it originates and then develops, and the ways people are organised into groups according to distinctions such as class, gender and race. A level Sociology also looks at the institutions and forces which shape and are shaped by groups within a society. We focus on contemporary society, providing an awareness of the importance of social structure and actions in explaining social forces and issues.

Students study units on Families and Households, Research methods, Education, Global Development, Crime and Deviance and Sociological Theory. A level Sociology helps you to develop knowledge and understanding of the essential sociological theories and methods (such as Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism) with which sociologists make sense of the diversity of societies, and of the forces which have and will continue to shape social change.

Sociology will help students to think about society in a new and critical light, questioning the status quo and developing a sophisticated understanding of the real issues that affect the society we live in. It is an excellent subject for showing how society works and for awareness of the range of conditions that individuals within society experience. Students often comment that they didn't realise how varied the human experience can be and how powerfully group identity shapes a person's future.

Sociology qualifications can lead to jobs in fields such as the police and probation services; social and market research; charitable, counselling and voluntary organisations, PR, journalism and communications, and many more.