Through the Cambridge IGCSE Sociology syllabus, learners explore aspects of social relationships, processes and structures; as a result, they develop a greater understanding of human societies and the role of continuity and change in social life. Learners are encouraged to evaluate critically a variety of different social, economic and political structures, thereby learning more about the sociological method, and developing an ability to assess different forms of information and evidence. By relating the syllabus to the local context, teachers can help learners apply their developing sociological knowledge and understanding to the analysis of their own lives and their participation in society.
Aims of the Syllabus
The educational aims of Cambridge IGCSE Sociology are to-
• Promote candidates’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of human societies
• Develop candidates’ understanding of sociological methods, including the collection, analysis and interpretation of data
• Provide an introduction to sociological concepts, theories and research findings
• Stimulate awareness of the range and limitations of sociological theory and research
• Promote candidates’ understanding of continuity and change in social life
• Encourage a critical awareness of social, economic and political processes, and their effects
• Develop the capacity for critical evaluation of different forms of information and evidence
• Promote an appreciation and understanding of individual, social and cultural diversity
• Enhance candidates’ ability to apply sociological knowledge and understanding to their own lives and their participation within society.
Unit 1: Theory and methods
How do different sociologists interpret society?
How do sociologists study society?
What types of information and data do sociologists use?
Unit 2: Culture, identity and socialisation
What is the relationship between the individual and society?
How do we learn to be human?
Unit 3: Social inequality What is social stratification?
What are the main features of social inequality and how are these created?
Unit 4: Family What are the different types of family?
How are family roles changing?
What are the changes affecting the family?
Unit 5: Education What is the function of education?
What factors help to explain differences in educational
Unit 6: Crime, deviance and social control
What are crime, deviance and social control?
What are the patterns of crime?
What are the explanations of crime?
Unit 7: Media Who controls the media?
What is the influence of the media?
Objectives of Assessment
1. Knowledge and understanding
Candidates should be able to-
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of appropriate sociological topics
• Understand the theoretical and practical considerations influencing the design and application of sociological enquiry
• Understand and apply sociological terminology and concepts.
2. Interpretation of evidence
Candidates should be able to-
• Demonstrate an awareness of the main methods of sociological enquiry and their uses
• Interpret and apply relevant evidence and data
• Show an awareness of different types and sources of evidence.
3. Analysis and evaluation
Candidates should be able to
• Evaluate the strengths and limitations of particular sociological studies and methods
• Recognise limitations and bias in evidence and distinguish between fact, opinion and values
• Reach conclusions based on a reasoned consideration of available evidence
• Organise and present sociological evidence and arguments in a coherent and purposeful form.
Candidates answer one compulsory data response question and one optional
structured question from a choice of two.
2 hours (including 15 minutes’ reading time)
Candidates answer two optional structured questions from a choice of four.
1 hour 45 minutes (including 15 minutes’ reading time)