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 TitleSociology
Examination BoardAQA
Linear Qualification?Yes
Course Webpage
Entry RequirementsGrade 5 or above in English language and Grade 4 English literature (or vice versa) . However, due to the emphasis on essay writing in sociology, it is highly recommended that students have achieved a Grade 6.
Contact TeachersMr 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, health, global development 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:

This topic looks at the changing and evolving nature of the health system, the social construction of illness and disability, mental health, life chances in health and the social distribution of health inequalities, such as class, gender and ethnicity. Is a postcode lottery in healthcare provision fair? Why do poorer people die earlier? Does mental health have parity of esteem with physical health? How are we going to fund the NHS in the future?

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.

Global Development
This topic engages students in understanding the underlying theme of globalisation, including the implications of globalisation on nation states, global inequality, the roles of governments and NGOs on third world development, trade, industrialisation, conflict, disease and aid are all explored in this unit. Should we give aid to Africa? Why do wars happen in third world nations? What are the barriers to development?

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: Health and Global Development

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