Sociology

Studying Sociology at A level will enable students to see the world around them from multiple different perspectives. They will be able to critically analyse and evaluate social phenomenon and apply their understanding to their everyday lives. Students will learn to develop their knowledge through their own research and that of famous sociologists so that they understand how vital sociology is to understanding the world.

Aims

To recognise that their sociological knowledge, understanding and skills help them to develop an understanding of the interrelationships between individuals, groups, institutions and societies. To analyse critically the nature and sources of information and to base reasoned judgements and arguments on evidence. To appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate. To understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research process. To develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society. To develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

Exam board: AQA
Syllabus title: A Level in Sociology
Course code: 7192, two year A Level course

Course content

Coursework


Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods
Pupils will be looking at the Sociology of Education. This includes the role education performs for society, both internal and external factors that may produce inequalities in education and social policies.

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
Pupils will be looking at the Sociology of Families and Households and the Mass Media. This includes a number of different topics including family types, social policies relating to the family, the role of the media and media ownership.

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
In this topic area pupils learn an in depth account of what crime and deviance is, the functions crime performs, both positive and negative, how key theorists view crime, the criminal justice system, and why there are inequalities within crime and deviance.

Assessment and weighting

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods
Two hour written exam worth 80 marks and 33.3% of the A level with questions ranging in length:

  • Education: short answer and extended writing (50 marks)
  • Methods in Context: extended writing (20 marks)
  • Theory and Methods: extended writing (10 marks)

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
Two hour written exam worth 80 marks and 33.3% of the A level with questions ranging in length:

  • Section A: extended writing (40 marks)
  • Section B: extended writing (40 marks)

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
Two hour written exam worth 80 marks and 33.3% of the A level with questions ranging in length:

  • Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing (50 marks)
  • Theory and Methods: extended writing (30 marks)

Trips/visits

Trips include visits to the Law Courts, opportunities to go to conferences where the students get to meet and hear from sociologists who are on their specification and in the exams. Students are also invited to attend the yearly psychology trip to Krakow which takes place every 2 years as it is also relevant to their understanding of societal behaviour.

Future opportunities/ career

The new A Level course provides students with the exciting opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them and reflect on social issues that are often relevant to their own social experiences. Students can acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social processes and social changes as well as developing strong critical thinking skills.

The study of sociology degree can be useful in a variety of careers including policing, research, teaching, social work, politics and civil service as well as taking jobs in the service sector.

Qualifications/ School record

Required

  • 6 in GCSE English
  • 95% attendance in year 11
  • 6 in Sociology GCSE (if taken before)
  • Good attitude to learning.

Desirable

  • 6 or above in another social sciences GCSE for example, Psychology or RS
  • 6 or above for a Higher Project Qualification.

Attitude/Qualities

  • Hard working
  • Motivated
  • Enthusiastic

Skills

Required:

  • Good writing skills
  • Enjoys analysing and researching
  • Organised

Desirable:

  • Designing and conducting research
  • Happy to work in a group or independently
  • Debating and report writing

Experience

Required:

  • Someone who is keen to study society and has an interest in the way society works and affects you as an individual

Desirable:

  • Participation in research and analysis