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Examination Board: AQA

What is the course about?

Sociology has been referred to as the science of society and people. The role of the sociologist is to research possible reasons and solutions to many of the world’s pressing questions and issues. The AQA course begins the essential training of looking at these social phenomena from a sociological approach. Students will study inequalities in society and why they exist; they will look at why some people succeed in school whilst others fail. The A Level will examine the role of religion in our communities and how it impacts people today. The last A Level topic will ask questions about crime and deviance, with particular interest as to why some people are criminal and others are not. All of these topics and questions will examine current research and help discuss potential solutions.

In Year 12 you will study:

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods
Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology
Year 1 in sociology will be a preparation for the A Level paper 1 and half of paper 2. Students will study the sociology of education with research methods for paper 1, and for paper 2 the choice of topics will be ‘The Family’ and ‘Households’. Students will be given a range of textbooks, revision guides, lectures, conferences and notes to help them better understand and prepare for the core themes and perspectives in sociology. Both of the topics covered are engaging and present interesting and challenging debates; these include: labelling theory, diversity, equality, and structures.

In Year 13 you will study:

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods
Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology
Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

Year 13 brings the addition of the sociology of belief systems as well as the study of crime and deviance. Students will be expected to know the most current arguments in these topics with application to sociological theory and methods.

How is the course assessed?

The course will follow the AQA specifications and mark schemes. Students will be taught how to manage the different styles of questions and the AOs required to meet their demands.

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

Any A Level course requires organisation, hard work and commitment. The sociology course will enhance your analytical skills as well as develop a curious mind. You will be able to question things that perhaps have been taken for granted in the past.

To be a successful sociologist, you need to have an open mind and be ready to learn about different perspectives and arguments.

Subject combination advice

Sociology is a literacy-based subject and complements the study of psychology, geography and business studies.

What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

Sociology helps students develop analytical skills and encourages a critical examination of the world that surrounds us. Former students have gone on to study both sociology and criminology at university. The course helps prepare students for careers in human resources, public administration, the civil service, education and health care.

What are the formal entry requirements?

A minimum Grade 6 in English. A candidate must have a genuine interest in people and the world around them.

What activities enrich this subject?

Students are encouraged to read the newspapers which are available in the school library and bring relevant articles to the lesson for discussion.

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