Examination Board: AQA
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.
For the AS Level you will study:
Paper 1 7191/1 – Education with methods in context
This paper will be focused on how education impacts a person’s life chances. The sociology of education tries to establish reasons for the success of some students and the failure of others. You will learn about labelling, school subcultures, pupil identities and processes within and out of school that impact educational attainment. Additional to this, you will apply research methods to different potential studies of education, explaining the strengths and weaknesses for each.
Paper 2 7191/2
This paper will also include the study of research methods but this time on the topic of the family and households. There will be a section of family diversity, structures and theories, to mention a few.
For the A Level you will study:
Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods
Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology
Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
A Level will bring 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 organization, 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.
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 personnel, public administration, the civil service, education and health care.
What are the formal entry requirements for this course?
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.