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Brooke Weston

Post 16 Studies


The Humanities department offers a range of humanities and social science subjects at GCE A level. The A level subjects taught in the department are traditional subjects which are held in high regard as academic disciplines and are, therefore, looked upon very favourably by both employers and universities. All Humanities subjects focus on human behaviour and experience and through studying them you will gain knowledge and understanding of different cultures and beliefs and a better understanding of current world issues. They also develop essential study skills such as critical and creative thinking, debating and evaluating.

A level Geography

Exam Board AQA
Assessment Externally Set Examination and coursework
Overview This course encourages students to develop an interest in and enjoyment of the world around them, challenge perceptions and stimulate investigative and analytical skills. The course is varied and includes a residential experience and day field trips to a variety of locations. Please note that the field trips, including the residential, are mandatory and will incur a cost.
Units studied

Students study a breadth of units which span both the physical and human aspects of the subject. Physical geography units focus on:

  • Hazards - by exploring the origin and nature of lithospheric and atmospheric hazards, students engage in the relationships between people and the environments they occupy. Seismic activity, vulcanicity, storms and fires in nature form the basis of the unit.
  • Coastal environments - the dynamic environments of coastal zones are explored to develop an appreciation of the beauty, diversity and importance of coasts. Coastal processes, landforms and the management of the coast allows enquiring minds to develop and offers opportunities for fieldwork data collection
  • Water and carbon cycles - this core unit focuses on the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth's surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. The fundamental interactions between people and the balance within these stores allows for the implications of flooding and climate change to be understood. Further opportunities for fieldwork are offered in this unit.

Human units focus on:

  • Contemporary urban environments - the ubiquitous processes of urban growth and change are examined in order to understand issues associated with them. Engaging with these themes allows for an appreciation of diversity, the importance of environmental sustainability as well as social cohesion. Further opportunities for fieldwork are offered in this unit.
  • Changing Places - as a core human unit, Changing Places focuses on people's engagement with places and their experiences. Factors and processes which impact upon how places change and develop over time are studied and two areas in places of contrasting economic development, demographic and cultural background and political and economic organisation form the basis of much of the unit which again offers further opportunities for fieldwork.
  • Global Systems and Global Governance - this core unit focuses on globalisation and the factors considered to be the driving forces behind change in recent decades. Students contemplate many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them. Issues studied include, but are not restricted to, those which are linked to unequal flows of people, development, conflicts and power relations.

Students also complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student and is assessed though the completion of an extended investigation write up, marked by teachers and moderated by AQA. This element of the course contributes 20% of the overall grade achieved.

Future pathways Geography students go on to study a wide range of subjects at University as geography is seen as both a science and an arts subject. Qualifications in geography allow students to gain a career in many professional areas. Geographers are highly prized by employers as they have scientific, written and verbal skills. They have the ability to research, work independently and develop arguments. Traditional areas which have attracted geographers are, architecture, oceanography, biogeographical fields, climatology, resource management, engineering, cartography including GIS, retail management, town planning, countryside management and journalism.

A Level History

Exam Board AQA
Assessment Coursework and Examination
Overview This two year course focuses on Tudor England and Russia from 1917 - 53. There is also an opportunity to study another historical period for the coursework unit.
Units studied Component 1: Breadth Study - The Tudors: England 1485 - 1603 (40% of the total A level marks)
Component 2: Depth Study Russia: 1917 - 53, Revolution and Dictatorship (40% of the total A level marks)
Component 3: Historical Investigation - A personal study based on a topic of the student's choice. (20% of the total A level marks)
Future pathways History is useful for students planning to take higher-education courses in history, American studies, international relations and law. It is also recognised as important for developing research skills. History A Level develops skills that can help you to enter many careers, some of which directly relate to history but many of which do not. These include law, journalism, broadcasting, the civil service, teaching, the police force, publishing, personnel work, banking, management, social work, insurance and accountancy.

A Level Psychology

Exam Board AQA
Assessment Externally Set Examination
Overview In this two year course, students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of psychology through a range of topics chosen for their accessibility and popularity.
Units studied Unit 1: Introductory topics in psychology. (33.3% of the total A level marks) This includes social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology.
Unit 2: Psychology in context. (33.3% of the total A level marks) This includes approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods.
Unit 3: Topics in psychology (33.3% of the total A level marks) This includes issues and debates in psychology and 3 optional studies relationships, Forensic psychology and schizophrenia
Future pathways Students of psychology go on to study a wide range of subjects at degree level including clinical psychology, forensics, counselling, health, occupational, sport & exercise, teaching and research. The majority of chartered psychologists specialise in clinical but counselling and forensic psychologists are increasing in popularity. Most of these careers tend to involve working with clients on a one-to-one basis whilst others are more research based.

A level Religious Studies

Exam Board OCR
Assessment Externally Set Examination

Philosophy, Ethics, Development in Christian thought

This is an extremely interesting yet rigorous course in which students study a range of different philosophical, ethical and theological ideas and theories. The students will develop a greater understanding and appreciation for Christian beliefs and teachings, as well as the disciplines of ethics and philosophy. Units include, amongst many, ancient philosophical influences such as Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas as well as more contemporary works; the application of ethical theories to contemporary issues of importance such as euthanasia and workplace practices; and Christian beliefs, values and teachings, their interconnections and how they vary historically and in the contemporary world.

Units studied Unit 1: Philosophy of religion (1/3 of the total A2 marks)
Unit 2: Religious ethics (1/3 of the total A2 marks)
Unit 3: Development in Christian thought (1/3 of the total A2 marks)
Future pathways Students completing philosophy and ethics papers in religious studies can go on to study a wide range of subjects at degree level, including English literature, history, philosophy, law, sociology and anthropology as well as theology and religious studies. An A Level in religious studies is highly valued in personnel work, law, medicine, education, librarianship, media and social services, including the police force. As with any subject in the area of humanities, students acquire a great range of skills such as analysis, interpretation, critical thinking and the ability to produce extended evaluative pieces of writing.

A level Sociology

Exam Board AQA
Assessment Externally Set Examination
Overview Sociology is the study of societies and the way that they shape people's behaviour; beliefs, and identity. This two year course has been designed so that students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of central aspects of sociological thought and methods, together with the application of a range of skills that may be applied in other subject areas.
Units studied Unit 1: Education with Theory and Methods (33.3% of the total A level marks)
Unit 2: Topics in Sociology - Families and households and mass media (33.3% of the total A level marks)
Unit 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (33.3% of the total A level marks)
Future pathways Sociology is accepted for admission to a wide range of university degree courses in the social sciences (e.g. social policy, social work and education), the arts, humanities and business studies. It is also accepted for training courses in health and social care, human resource management, leisure and tourism, journalism, the police and legal professions. Sociology A Level can lead directly to a career in social work, nursing, the police force or other professions where an understanding of people is an asset. The skills it develops are also valued for a variety of professions from human resource management to journalism.