Sociology is the study of how society is organised and how we experience life. It is relevant to the society we live in so you will learn about contemporary topics often at the heart of national debates. Themes that run through the A Level course are culture, identity, power, social class, gender, race and ethnicity.

Sociology is a diverse subject with broad appeal.

Key Stage 5

In Year 12, candidates studying this specification will acquire knowledge of contemporary social processes and social changes.  This course will take you through educational history to look at what the purpose of education is and how it affects students’ lives. Students will also explore the changing patterns of family life in Britain and the roles and relationships that exist. For research methods students will learn about, and gain experience of, the methods that Sociologists use in their research. The course also examines the key decisions which influence sociologist’s choice of method and topic. Candidates will be encouraged to develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world.

In year 13, candidates will study Crime and Deviance where they will explore contemporary debates surrounding issues such as green crime, state crimes and the roles of the criminal justice system.  

Students will also cover global development, and will consider how in our increasingly interconnected world issues such as environmentalism, gender inequality and politics are simultaneously local and global. The topic encourages students to engage with contemporary examples of social changes and to build a keen awareness of the world around them. The final topic covers Social Theory; students will study a variety of ways of understanding and interpreting society.   

Examination board: AQA

Details of the course can be found here.

You can download a copy of the full specification here.

What skills will I learn?

The ability to construct a reasoned argument; analytical and evaluative skills; debating skills; including the use of evidence to support arguments and an ability to present a counter-argument.

Career value

There are a variety of occupations which a Sociology student might pursue: Teaching; law enforcement; Probation service; Social work and the ‘caring professions’; Civil service and local government service; Voluntary agencies; Graduate jobs in management; Journalism; Media.

A student’s view

“Sociology has definitely made me question a lot of my old views. It is fascinating to learn new things about myself that I didn’t know before. No matter what the topic, everyone has a different opinion. You learn to back your ideas up with theorists and actual sociological evidence.”