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Sixth Form

Help with choosing your A-levels and Level 3 Vocational courses

Information to help you decide on your choice between similar subjects.

Question Answer
What are the similarities and differences between A Level Law the Diploma in Criminology

Similarities between Law and Criminology

They are both engaging, fascinating and unique courses , unlike anything you've studied before!

Both also carry the same equivalent UCAS points.

Each course will teach valuable skills such as research, analysis and debating, useful for like and further education.

Both subjects open doors to a wide range of further education courses and jobs.

Each will have potential opportunities for enrichment opportunities including visits to local courts and police stations, the Supreme Court and Houses of Parliament.  Talks from guest speakers, mock trials and crime scene investigations. 

Differences between Law and Criminology

Law is a full A level course which is examined by way of a 3 two hour papers at the end of year 13. It's a wholly academic course made of the following areas; criminal law, law of negligence, law of contract, English legal system and law making. While law includes a large criminal element, it is geared towards and understanding of principles and theory of criminal law and focus on the application of those theories to resolve issues of criminal liability, from murder to theft.

Criminology is a diploma qualification which is emanated by way of 50% exam and 50% controlled assessment spread over year 12 and 13.  While criminology focuses  on criminal law, it instead  studies topics such as understanding the reasons people commit crime, how crime is reported,  investigated and controlled. 

What are the similarities and differences between Psychology and Sociology?

Similarities between Psychology and Sociology

Both involve the scientific study of people.

Psychologists and sociologists employ some similar research methods such as experiments, observations, self-report studies and content analysis.


Differences between Psychology and Sociology

Psychology is the study of the mind, as well as the behaviour of individuals or small groups whereas sociology studies societies and social systems as a whole.

Psychologists tend to study one individual at a time or a small group whereas sociology is the study of society and social institutions as a whole.

Sociologists study the impact of large institutions and social policy relating to areas such as the economy and consumerism, education, inequity and stratification, whereas psychology explores areas related to emotion and behaviour such as intelligence, stress, memory, grief, mental health, addiction and trauma.   
What are the similarities and differences between History and Politics?

Similarities between History and Politics

 Both subjects look at the development of government and government policy.  In Politics we look at the government and politics of the US where we look at current day and events from American history, this coincides with the module we have on 20th century American History where the focus is the actions of US Presidents.  Students who do both of these subjects find it easier to demonstrate their knowledge as they have examples to use from both subjects.


Differences between History and Politics

The writing styles for each subject is quite different. Politics is a little more formulaic whereas History has more of an academic rigour to it's writing which is why it's classed as one of the top facilitating subjects by universities.  

What are the similarities and differences between Business and Economics?

Similarities between Business and Economics

Both explore business objectives, growth and behaviour of firms within markets to establish market dominance and other principle objectives. Both consider the role of globalisation in facilitating greater competition, choice, quality and innovation. Both explore the benefits and drawbacks of protectionism such as tariffs, quotas, regulation and subsidies. Both develop student understanding of costs, revenue and profit including calculating and interpreting. Both develop student understanding of the importance of economies of scale in facilitating the pursuit of other business objectives. Both will help students understand the use of data to analyse the market power of firms including the effective use of supply and demand analysis to build arguments in favour of decisions taken. Essay writing is similar in length and technique supporting students that take both to make an easier transition to the demands of A Level. Both subjects explore content in the context of real life scenarios and there is a strong emphasis on case study analysis. Both will expect students to read the news regularly and develop their understanding of current issues facing businesses, consumers and government using a range of websites, journals and podcasts.


Differences between Business and Economics

Economics is classified as a social science and there is a strong emphasis on exploring the concept of rational behaviour by consumers. Students will investigate specific markets that yield positive and negative effects on individuals and society and then evaluating the ability of government to intervene using a range of policy tools to either increase consumption or decrease consumption. It is a more technical subject and requires students to model outcomes using a range of economic diagrams going beyond the usual supply and demand analysis. Some diagrams can be complex. Students will also explore the mechanics of how a country/economy operates and the role of government in managing the economy to keep it moving in the right direction. There is also a strong emphasis on labour markets in year 2 where students will consider how to deal with unemployment and evaluate labour market policies undertaken by government such as a maximum wage or raising the state retirement age.


In Business students will have exposure to a greater range of numerical data analysis including sales forecasting techniques, critical path analysis (focusing on efficiencies of project management) and decision tree analysis. Marketing is an area covered in both year 1 and year 2 (global marketing strategies and analysis). Business finance skills are developed as a deep understanding of financial documents and analysis of business performance is taught. The course also develops a deep understanding of human resource management including motivational theorists, organisational structures and training methods.




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