Years 10 & 11 Curriculum - Citizenship Studies

OCR J270


Students can opt for GCSE Citizenship Studies as a full GCSE.

What’s in it for you?

With its emphasis on active citizenship, this course will help you discover what it takes to be a practical citizen, and about being involved in your community. You will also have an opportunity to put what you learn into practice in a group project on an ‘active citizenship’ issue. In addition to this, you will study in depth many of the issues that we see/hear/encounter in the news and in society today.

How could it help with your future?

Citizenship Studies would be most useful if you are interested in a career involving government (local and national); charities (especially those concerned with human rights, international development or environmental issues); law, advisory bodies, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, community groups, teaching or journalism. However, it would also be extremely useful for anyone planning on working abroad in any capacity in the future, or just spending some time travelling.

What are some of the things you will learn?

With rights, come responsibilities. You will learn about both – and what they mean to you as an individual in your everyday life. You will also learn about them with regard to each other, within families, within a democracy and as a global citizen. You will find out about the legal and justice systems, democracy and voting… and more.


The syllabus (OCR Citizenship Studies J270 from 2016) covers three units as detailed below:

Unit 1: Our Rights, Responsibilities and the Law:

  • Rights and Responsibilities. 
  • The law.
  • The legal system.

Unit 2: Citizenship in Action:

  • Democracy, elections and voting in the UK.
  • National, local, regional and devolved government.
  • The British Constitution.
  • The economy, finance and money.
  • The role of the media and the importance of a free press.
  • Citizenship participation in the UK.
  • International politics.
  • “Active” Citizenship.

Unit 3: Our Society and our links with the Wider World:

  • The identities and diversities that exist within UK society.
  • The UK and its relations with the wider world.



All three of the above units are assessed through exams at the end of Year 11, structured as follows:

Exam 1: Citizenship in Perspective

  • A 50 minute exam with a total of 50 marks and worth 25% of your total grade. It involves answering shorter questions that are looking for the ability to recall and demonstrate KNOWLEDGE.

Unit 2:  Citizenship in Action

  • A 1 hour and 45 minute exam with a total of 100 marks and worth 50% of your total grade. It will feature a combination of short and extended answers. It will also require you to write up the active citizenship project you undertake.

Unit 3:  Our Rights, Our Society, Our World.

  • A 1 hour exam with a total of 50 marks and worth 25% of your total grade. It is examined through a mixture of shorter questions and ones which require extended answers.


The full syllabus can be found at:


In lessons, the units are broken down into eight different topics, as follows:

  • Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Democracy and Government.
  • Britishness.
  • Justice, Crime and Punishment.
  • The Economy.
  • Active Citizenship.
  • The Media.
  • The UK and the Wider World.


Citizenship is only available as an option to those students who are already studying it in Year 9.


Enquiries to:  Mr S Browne – Subject Leader