Level 1 Social Studies

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Ms S. McRae

The standards and topics offered in this course may be altered at the discretion of the Head of Department.

•All Standards contribute towards Literacy.
•The focus at Level 1 is to develop a sense of global citizenship through the examination of current social issues and cultural change in the 21st Century. Through this subject students will develop their general knowledge, writing and critical thinking skills.
•There are no prerequisites for entry into this course although entry is subject to TIC discretion.

Possible topics are:

  • Black Lives Matter, Police Brutality and Protest.
  • Beauty Standards-  inquire into an issue associated with our current perceptions of beauty, including plastic surgery, different perceptions of beauty, child beauty pageants, size zero models, fur in fashion, body image and Instagram models, skin tanning and whitening and so on.
  • Prisoners of conscience – the struggle for human rights and social justice (social action).
  • Cultural Change e.g. in gender roles, work, leisure.
  • Current events and issues as they arise.

Course Overview

Term 1
We will do an introduction to the key skills and concepts in Senior Social Studies.

Our first main topic will be to look at social actions that have taken place within the Black Lives Matter movement such as former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel for the American National Anthem. We will also examine past social actions such as the 1968 Mexico Olympics Black Power Salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

We will start our second major unit with is called Write for Rights and students will work collaboratively to complete a human rights and social justice social action to raise awareness about human rights abuses in our world today e.g. letter writing, presentations, social media campaigns, posters

Term 2
We will finish off Write for Rights.

Our next unit will be the Beauty Standards Inquiry. Students will learn that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder! We will explore how beauty standards differ across different cultures and over time. Students will then choose an issue associated with our current perception of beauty and complete research about this, including finding contrasting viewpoints and social actions taken to address the issue. Popular issues include child beauty pageants, plastic sugergy, photoshopping, the use of fur and fashion and skin whitening/tanning and so on.

Term 3
Students will then turn their attention to the theme of cultural change. Each year NZQA give us a different case study or theme to took at. In the past we have examined how sport has changed over time. For instance, closing the gender pay gap and the inclusion of trans-gender athletes. We have also recently looked at the World of Work and how that continues to evolve and change. We will be notified of the 2021 theme/case study shortly and it could be any aspect of our society.
Students only do 1 external standard.

Term 4
This term we be focused on revision for the external achievement standard.


Level 2 Social Studies

Social Studies will prepare you for careers that involve working with others. You will gain a great understanding of how society works and cultures change. This will be helpful for a wide variety of different careers. Some examples include (but aren't limited to) the media, police, justice system, psychologist, criminologist, law, teaching, nursing, journalism, social work, international relations and research.

Recommended Prior Learning

Open Entry

Credit Information

This course is eligible for subject endorsement.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits UE Literacy Credits Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91039 v3 Social Studies 1.1 - Describe how cultures change
A.S. 91040 v3 Social Studies 1.2 - Conduct a social inquiry
A.S. 91042 v3 Social Studies 1.4 - Report on personal involvement in a social justice and human rights action
A.S. 91043 v2 Social Studies 1.5 - Describe a social justice and human rights action
Total Credits

Total Credits Available: 16 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 4 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 12 credits.


Courses will only run based on minimum entries

Selecting a course does not guarantee entry into this course

You may apply for an exemption if you do not meet the prerequisites of a course or if the course requires this for entry

Standards offered can be altered at the discretion of the HOF or HOD of the Department

Some standards in NCEA courses might be optional depending on student strengths