Qualification: A-Level

Awarding Body:
Length of Course:
2 Years

Sociology is the study of society and is an extremely popular subject at A level both at St. Anthony’s & St Aidan’s Sixth form and also across the country. It is an academic subject which looks at how people live, behave and work together in groups. It is a dynamic subject which encourages students to consider the wider world and relative social and political issues. Many of its theories offer an enduring analysis of the society in which we live today.

Throughout the two year course, a number of core themes are explored. These include socialisation, culture and identity, social differentiation and power. These are considered an integral part of all modules. All aspects of the course are tested by examination.


Year 12 Year 13
Unit 1: Education with Methods in Context/Theory and Methods Unit 2: Topics in Sociology Beliefs in society 

In this unit we examine the role and purpose of education in our society, study different educational achievement of social groups

by social class, gender and ethnicity, look at relationships and processes within schools, with particular references to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil subculture and the hidden

curriculum and also focus on the significance of state policies on education.

We also study the range of research methods used by sociologists to understand processes in Education, and the theories which underpin them.

In beliefs we begin looking at the relationship between religion and social change, we study and classify religious organisations including Churches, Sects and cults. A portion of the module also focuses on the question of ‘Is the world becoming more secular?’. Students will also look at the rise of fundamentalism and discuss the issue of the clash of civilisations in modern society.





Unit 2: topics in Sociology, Families and Households/Research Methods Unit 3: Crime & Deviance with Theory & Methods

This units covers the sociological theories on the role of the family in modern society. We look at how the family has changed, how household structure is evolving and how this is impacted by cohabitation, divorce and new patterns of child-bearing. In addition to this, we look at diversity in contemporary family life, as well as wider family issues such as domestic labour, domestic violence and the power of children.

We also study the range of research methods used by sociologists to understand social life, including qualitative and quantitative methods.





This is a very popular module. Students will examine different explanations of crime. We also study the distribution of crime and deviance by age, class, ethnicity and gender. We analyse societal reactions to crime and deviance and also look at how the mass media has an impact on crime.

Students also study developing theories of  Globalisation and crime including analysis of state crime and environmental crime. Students focus on sociological studies of suicide, crime control, prevention and punishment as well as examining victims and the role of the CJS (e.g. Stephen Lawrence).

We also study the range of research methods used by sociologists to understand crime and deviance, and the theories which underpin them.




Sociology is assessed at the end of A2 in three separate papers. Paper 1 covers Education, Methods in Context and Theory and Methods. Paper 2 covers Families and Households and Beliefs in Society and Paper 3 will cover Crime and Deviance and Theory and Methods. Each of these exams is two hours in length. Each exam is typically a mixture of ‘short answer’ essay questions and extended writing.

Students will be expected to work individually, in pairs and in groups and also to present ideas and theories and participate in debates where relevant. A significant amount of independent study and dedication to wider reading is required. Students are encouraged to read newspapers and maintain an active interest in topical issues in society as these are perfect examples to use in essay answers and in the exam. No prior knowledge of Sociology is required to study the subject at this level.

Sociology prepares students well for a career in education, social work, the legal system, the police, marketing, the media and many other areas. Sociologists are highly employable e.g. 3 years after graduation, the proportion of social sciences graduates in employment is higher than those graduates of STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths).

A higher proportion are in managerial or senior official roles than STEM or arts-humanities graduates.


Relevance to Further Studies and Careers

Sociology combines well with both Arts and Science subjects and the course content appeals to a very wide variety of students from very diverse academic backgrounds. It is readily accepted by virtually all University departments for entry onto a wide variety of degree courses – many of which require the development of interpersonal skills. In the past, students have moved on to diverse destinations and several students each year will continue their study of Sociology at university. The focus on improving essay writing across the two years of this course are an excellent preparation further academic work.




Entry Requirements

It is not necessary for pupils to have studied GCSE Sociology course in order to begin the A-Level course. However as the subject is based heavily around reading and essay writing, students are required to have a 6 in English Language at GCSE