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A Level
Exam Board: AQA
Subject Leader: Miss C Howard

Sociology offers a distinct and illuminating perspective on human behaviour. Learning Sociology means taking a step back from our own personal interpretations of the world, to look at the social influences that shape our lives. It gives us a richer awareness of our own characteristics and those of others. The scope of Sociology is extremely wide, ranging from the study of ethnic gender and class groups to the significance of globalisation. Students will learn to be analytical, to question assumptions – their own included – about what is normal and natural in society. Students have to be willing to look at the world in a different way and will be expected to take an interest in current affairs, debate issues, research evidence, and be prepared to read widely around relevant topics.

How is the course organised and assessed?

Students will get a chance to experience a range of approaches to their learning, studying research papers, independent researching and discussion and students will be assessed in various ways including, essays, data response questions, groups presentations and research reports.  

Students are assessed on 3 papers at the end of the course, the first: Education, explores the roles and functions of the education system, including its relationship to the economy and class structure, the differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender, and ethnicity in contemporary society, the significance of educational policies, including policies of selection, marketisation and privatisation, and equalities policies, and many other topics. Paper 2: Families and Households, and Beliefs in society. The first part of this paper, Families and Households, covers the relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with a particular reference to the economy and to state policies. Changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures. The second half coves ideology, science and religion, the relationship between social change and social stability, and religious organisations including cults, sects, denominations, churches and new age movements. The third paper: Crime covers social order and social control, the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender, and social class, globalisation and crime in contemporary society, and many more topics.

What's next?
Studying Sociology will deepen your understanding of social change and the contemporary world. It will also give you the ability to conduct and analyse research. Sociology complements many other subjects, like the sciences, social science, and art subjects. A study of Sociology will not only develop your critical thinking but also develop key skills such as communication and ICT. A Sociology qualification is highly relevant for careers in Media, Law, the Health Services, Education, as well as Sales and Market Research. 


View the learning journey for Sociology at NLS