Sociology literally means the “science of society”. At its most basic level, Sociology is the study of why we are the way we are. Sociologists believe that humans are born as blank canvases and are “built” by society. Its aim is to understand how societies work. It investigates the structures and cultures of different societies throughout the world and throughout history. Students look at family, education, beliefs and crime and probe beneath the surface of society to find out what is actually going on. At the centre of the course is the search for how our identities formed and how aspects of our identities such as class, age, gender and ethnicity affect our lives. Society shapes all of us therefore the job of the sociologist is to explore this link between society and the individual. Sociology does not claim to have all of the answers to the questions above. Because we are dealing with people and people have the ability to think, act and respond to things differently, it is hard to make any fixed laws about human behaviour. We therefore debate various viewpoints and provide sociological evidence for each side. It is therefore important that Sociology students have an open mind and an interest in the world around you.


A Level Sociology is a two year course; at the end of the course students will sit three exams each worth 33% of the final grade. We follow the AQA A-Level specification.


Year 12

We cover a brief introduction to Sociology for students who are new to the subject.


Families and Households

  • What it means to be a child and how this has changed over time.
  • How the family is affected by government policies?
  • Changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, divorce and the range of family structures.
  • The changing roles of men and women within the family


Education and Research Methods

  • What is the role of education?
  • Why do some groups of students do better than others?
  • How can teachers and subcultures change pupils’ self-concepts?
  • How have educational policies changed the shape of the education system?
  • How can sociological research methods be applied to the study of education? For example, questionnaires, interviews, observations


Beliefs in Society

  • Religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice.


Year 13


Beliefs in Society

  • The relationship between religious beliefs and social change and stability.
  • The relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices.
  • The significance of religion and religiosity in the modern world, including the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context


Crime and Deviance

  • Different theories on the causes of crime.
  • The social distribution of crime and deviance by age, ethnicity, gender, locality and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime.
  • Globalisation and crime in contemporary society.
  • Crime control, prevention and punishment.


Theory and Method

  • Different theoretical perspectives in Sociology.
  • The concept of modernity and post-modernity.
  • The nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific.
  • The role of values and objectivity in Sociological research.
  • The relationship between Sociology and social policy.


  • Paper 1 Education with Theory and Method - 2hour exam worth 33%.
  • Paper 2 Topics in Sociology (Families and Households & Beliefs in Society) – 2hour exam worth 33%.
  • Paper 3 Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods – 2hour exam worth 33%.


Full information available on the AQA website :



Mrs C Howarth,  Head of Department:


Mrs K Kooner, Teacher of Sociology: