Sociology (KS5 Only)
Sociology is the study of how humans shape and are shaped by the world they live in. It is a dynamic, exciting subject, which is both theoretical and evidence-based, and recognises that change is intrinsic to social life. It challenges students to observe their day-to-day experiences with fresh insight and to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about the society in which they live.
Sociology students study a rich, inspiring and broad range of sociological substantive areas, including crime and deviance, beliefs, education and families and households. The study of each topic area is underpinned by a focus on sociological theory, sociological perspectives and methods in which the core themes of power, stratification and identity are addressed.
A Level Sociology at Sandringham
At A Level, we follow the AQA specification and all students are examined at the end of two years. All units are assessed by written exam. Each exam is worth 33.3% of the overall A Level grade:
Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods
Paper 2: Families and Households and Beliefs in Society
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
Education investigates the role and function of the education system, differences in achievement by ethnicity, gender and social class and the possible explanations for these and the significance of different educational policies.
Families and Households looks into the changing relationships within the family with reference to gender roles, domestic labour and power. Changing patterns regarding marriage, divorce and childbearing and the resulting diversity of family and household structures are also investigated. You will also learn how the nature of childhood and the status of children have changed over time.
Beliefs in Society asks questions such as: What factors help to explain secularisation and the rise of religious fundamentalism in contemporary society? Does religion control and oppress us or can it be a force for liberation and social change? Why do people join cults or sects and what impact do these have on people’s lives? What impact has globalisation had on the spread of religion?
Crime and Deviance investigates who commits crime and why, globalisation and the media, state crime and green crime and investigates punishment, prevention and social control.
Theory and Methods tackles the different approaches sociologists take to research and considers a variety of ways to view society.
There are two textbooks that are needed at A Level:
Sociology for AQA, Vol. 1: AS and 1st-Year A Level Paperback – 14 May 2015 : available to purchase here
Sociology for AQA Volume 2: 2nd-Year A Level Paperback – 11 Mar. 2016 : available to purchase here
How parents can support learning:
- Encourage students to keep up to date with current affairs.
- Discuss what is happening in the news and how it relates to their study of Sociology.
- Test students on key concepts and ideas – these are identified in their folders and textbook.
There are a number of websites that may be useful to A Level sociologists: