Why study A-level Sociology?

Sociology is the study of human societies, considering what makes society the way that it is and how humans influence society itself; it is a highly academic discipline. Sociologists are really interested in studying social conditions, such as capitalism; as well as social problems, like violent crime, delinquency and educational failure. Sociologists study the social world by using methodologies, they focus on social trends and statistics and many have theoretical perspectives about why the social world is the way that it is, such as Marxists and Feminists. Sociology is for you, if you are interested in studying the complexities of our society.

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?

Many candidates have successfully used sociology to study a range of areas at University, including childhood studies, criminology, social psychology, primary education, politics, economics, law and history. Sociology is useful in all careers involving the need to understand the nature of modern societies. It is particularly useful for careers which involve the need to carry out research or to understand different social groups, such as marketing, journalism, research, business, government, law, education, nursing and psychology.

Key Information Summary:

Course Title Sociology
Examination Board AQA
Linear Qualification? Yes
Course Webpage
Entry Requirements Grade 5 or above in English language or English literature. However, due to the emphasis on essay writing in sociology, it is highly recommended that students have achieved a Grade 6.
Contact Teachers

Miss L Rajah:

Mr J Mayhew:

Course Details:

AQA Sociology studies the fundamental theories that sociologists believe in, along with the research methods that they use to investigate the social world. The study of various aspects of the social world is shown in this, including education, family, beliefs and crime. The course is assessed though written answers, including short answer questions and essay questions.

AQA sociology is a linear course with terminal examinations at the end of the two year course.


Subject Content:

Family and Households

This topic looks at the nature and extent of changes within the family, with reference to gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships. Students are able to compare and contrast their present family life with the changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, divorce, family diversity, childhood and demographic trends in the UK since 1900’s


This topic looks at the education system and its role in modern society. Is education just a place of learning that helps students build for their careers or are the other elements of the system, which have both positive and negative effects on our lives? Is there a ‘hidden curriculum’ behind what we learn? It also explores the social distribution of educational achievement, considering, for example, why boys perform poorly compared with girls!

Research Methods

In order to undertake sociological research, we must know how to use specific methods in order for the findings to be reliable and valid. This topic explores the variety of methods used and both positive and negative aspects of each. It is essential to understand this topic in order to analyse sociological studies in the other modules.

Beliefs in Society

This topic explains the nature and impact of religion on society. Different theoretical explanations of religion as a conservative force or force for social change along with the growth in fundamentalism, sects and cults will be analysed. Evaluation of influence of secularisation in modern society provides an understanding of religions influence.

Crime and Deviance

This topic offers explanations for why crime and deviance exist. It looks at the relationship between crime, power and control along with the levels of crimes committed within different social groups. It also looks at contemporary trends in crime, such as drug trafficking, globalization, the influence of the mass media and psychological explanations for crime

Theory and Methods

The theory and methods element looks at the theoretical, practical and ideological issues and factors that influence sociology as a study. This gives a greater understand of sociology and the research it undertakes.

Assessment details:

A Level – 2 Year Course
Paper 1 (33.3% of A-level)
2 hour paper, 80 marks, short and long answer questions.
Education with Theory and Methods

Paper 2 (33.3% of A-level)
2 hour paper, 80 marks, short and long answer questions.
Topics in Sociology: Families and Households & Beliefs in Society

Paper 3 (33.3% of A-level)
2 hours paper, 80 marks.
Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods