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Course Description 

Sociology explores how humans are socialised and contribute to society. We investigate all aspects of society; considering the experiences of individuals, groups, societies as a whole and globalisation.  Sociology students should have an inquisitive and open mind. As well as looking at theoretical perspectives, students will learn about the ways in which sociologists carry put research

Our aim in Sociology is to enable students to be able to comprehend a wide range of sociological theory with the ability to critically analyse them.  To improve their understanding of sociological concepts and how they play a role in shaping society it is important that the students broaden their reading from their textbook. Students should complete extra reading throughout their course that gives detailed examples of sociological theory at work in real life

Sociology students follow a two year A level course.

A level Sociology comprises three exam papers

Paper 1:  Education with Theory and Methods
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of A-level, 80 marks

  • Education – Students will explore the role and function of the education system, investigating the educational achievement of different groups, examining educational policies and evaluating their impact.
  • Methods in Context ­– Students will learn how sociologists have conducted research within the field of education and carrying out practical education-based research of our own.
  • Theory and Methods ­– students will compare and contrast the different views found in sociology; exploring and applying these to the topic of education.

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of A-level, 80 marks

  •  Families and households:  students will investigate the changing patterns in families, particularly surrounding marriage, divorce, and cohabitation; gender roles in the family; the nature of childhood and how this is changing.
  • Beliefs in society:   students will discuss the significance of religion in the modern world; investigate different religions, religious organisations, and religious movements, explore the relationship between different social groups and religion.

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of A-level, 80 marks

  • Crime and Deviance– exploring who commits crime and identifying patterns in current crime figures, the different types of crime, and other issues surrounding crime, such as prevention, punishment, and the role of the criminal justice system.
  • Theory and Methods – comparing and contrasting the different views found in sociology; exploring and applying these to crime.

Specification link


Why you should consider this course

Sociology is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in social work, nursing or medicine. But the subject is also useful in a number of other careers, like marketing, advertising. PR, journalism, law or teaching. The Sociology A Level course helps students develop a number of new skills:

  • How to use evidence to support your arguments
  • How to investigate facts and use deduction
  • How to put over your point of view fluently
  • How to work as a team to achieve results
  • How to take responsibility for your own learning

Useful Link

Websites and social media

  • For general happenings on society: or

  • For all course-specific help (e.g. exam papers, syllabus, mark schemes etc.):

  • The most recent government statistics can be found here:

  • For the latest education policies:

  • Recent education research:

For revision: 


Twitter feeds to follow:

  • @TheSocReview – Up to date contemporary and empirical evidence
  • @SociologyinPics – What it says on the tin – cartoon pictures linked to sociology
  • @BrowneKen – Publisher of sociology text books, tweets lots of useful articles
  • @britsoci – The British Sociological Association – latest research
  • @theipaper – Quick accessible news
  • @ippr – Institute for Public Policy Research
  • @bbcquestiontime – Weekly debates around current affairs
  • @BBCnews – BBC news
  • @SocMobAPPG – All part parliamentary group, investigating social mobility

TikTok Pages to follow


Reading List

You are assigned AQA A Level Sociology: Book 1 and Book 2 by Rob Webb et al but you may also choose to use any of the following text books as well:

  • Sociology for AQA Volume 1 and 2: 2nd Year A Level by Ken Browne
  • AQA Sociology for A Level Book 1 and 2 by David Bown and Laura Pountney
  • AQA A Level Sociology Student Book 1 and 2: 4th Edition by Steve Chapman

Revision guides:

  • Succeed at A Level Sociology Book One by Robb Webb and Keith Trobe
  • Succeed at A Level Sociology Book Two by Robb Webb and Keith Trobe

A/A* extension;

  • Sociology Themes and Perspectives by Michael Haralambos and Martin Holborn
  • Sociology by Anthony Giddens
  • “Dead White Men and Other Important People:  Sociology’s Big Ideas” by Fevre and Bancroft
  • Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones (2010)
  • The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones (Paperback – 2015)
  • Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage (2015)
  • The Sociology Book (Big Ideas) by Alexandra Beeden (2015)
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Paperback – 18 Jun 2007)

Topic specific reading and watching list:

Topic  Books Films/ Tv
  • To Miss with Love: Katharine Birbalsingh (2011)
  • Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating by Frank Furedi (2009)
  • Dangerous Minds
  • Educating Cardiff/ Yorkshire/ Essex/ The East End
  • They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James (2006)
  • Cherie Gets Married
  • Back in Time for Dinner
Beliefs in society
  • The Cult Files: True Stories from the Extreme Edges of Religious Belief
  • Things Fall Apart: Chinua Achebe
  • The God Delusion: Richard Dawkins
  • Dogma
Crime and Deviance
  • The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-city Neighbourhood David Simon
  • In search of respect: selling crack in El Barrio. Phillipe Bourgois
  • The Wire 
  • Quadrophrenia
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Labelling Theory)


Visual Curriculum Map


Visual curriculum maps 2022 updated imediaSOC