What is Sociology?

At A Level, the central focus of Sociology is contemporary UK society, and the various influences upon social norms and development. There is also an emphasis on how sociologists work, looking at qualitative and quantitative research methods, the design of research, and sources of data alongside their analysis. Students will look at a variety of issues related to education, families and households, health, work, poverty and welfare, beliefs, the media, and global developments. There will also be an emphasis on crime and deviance.

How is it studied?

Sociology is taught in small groups to allow students an opportunity to develop and debate their understanding through class discussion. Each topic is explored through an analysis of sociological theory with practical case studies or examples. These allow students to apply theory and to test its appropriateness in assessing real-life situations. Emphasis is placed on both short answers and more extended writing to develop the students’ ability to meet the examination criteria.

How is A Level Sociology assessed?

Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Education with Theory and Methods 33.3% External Exam: 2 hours
2 Topics in Sociology 33.3% External Exam: 2 hours
3 Crime and Deviance 33.3% External Exam: 2 hours


Exam Board: AQA

What do I need to study it?

There is no prior learning expected for Sociology, but an interest in society and issues affecting it is important, as is some awareness of the key issues affecting UK society at present. An ability to form, write and support a clear and precise argument is essential.

What should I study with Sociology?

Sociology complements a very broad range of subjects. Having elements of sciences and humanities subjects, it adds a range of skills to many subject combinations, such as Business, Economics, History, and Philosophy.

What can I do with A Level Sociology?

Many students continue to study Sociology at university or in conjunction with a broad range of courses. As the subject helps students understand society, it supports a wide range of subjects.

Questions about the course

Is it possible to study Sociology in one year?

Yes. Sociology requires a lot of learning, but it is manageable in a year.