Exam Board: AQA
Sociology involves an analysis of human behaviour patterns and their relationships with each other. It is the study of people’s behaviour in society, incorporating topics such as crime, divorce, poverty, politics and feminist issues. By the end of the course, pupils will not only be extremely well informed about topical issues which are constantly debated in the media but they will also be able to present logical and coherent arguments about important social and political issues. An interest in current affairs is a valuable asset in studying Sociology.
Pupils might ask themselves about the alarming media reports of a staggering increase in crime. What are the reasons for this? What do the official crime figures really mean? What are the explanations for and the social consequences of the huge rise in the rate of divorce? Is intelligence inherited and fixed at birth, or do social advantage and other environmental factors account for an individual’s educational achievements? What are the reasons for, and the solution to, the increasing problems of unemployment, poverty and homelessness in our society? Issues such as these and many more are examined within the Sociology AS and A2 Level syllabuses.
Sociology provides a fascinating, enlightened, new analytical way of thinking. Topics studied are relevant for a wide variety of careers from law, the police, the probation service, industry and management to journalism, teaching, medicine and social work. Many courses for entry to these professions now have a compulsory sociology component. Vocationally, specialist sociologists provide research for government departments and other major organisations, examining such phenomena as the London riots of 2011.
Culture and Identity, Families and Households, Wealth, Poverty and Welfare SCLY1 - 1 hour written paper (60 marks) 40% of AS, 20% of A Level
Candidates answer 5 questions on Families and Households.
Education, Health and Sociological Methods
SCLY2 - 2 hour written paper (90 marks): 60% of AS, 30% of A Level
Candidates answer four questions on Education, one question on sociological research methods used in studying Education, and four questions on the relative merits of various methods for studying diverse areas of social life (ranging from gang membership to attitudes towards ethnic minoirty groups).
Beliefs in Society, Global Development, Mass Media and Power and Politics SCLY3 - 1 hour 30 minutes written paper (60 marks): 20% of A Level
Candidates answer one compulsory question and one question from a choice of two, on belief systems such as religion, ideologies and science.
Crime and Deviance, Stratification and Differentiation, Theory and Methods SCLY4 - 2 hour written paper (90 marks): 30% of A Level
Candidates answer two questions on Crime and Deviance, one question on sociological research methods used in studying Crime and Deviance and one compulsory essay question on sociological Theaory and Methods
Various innovative teaching methods are employed with the aim of stimulating challenging discussion and developing a sociological imagination. Pupils should be prepared to participate enthusiastically in group presentations and to develop a diligent independent study habit. There will be many opportunities for assessment, based on building skills in short answer and longer essay style questions.
Pupils will have the opportunity to attend a conference in London, which costs about £12 plus travel. ‘Sociology Review’ magazines are optional at a reduced rate subscription of approximately £12.
There is no coursework component as assessment is all by examination.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Sociology, which could lead you onto higher education in one or more of the Social Sciences such as Sociology, Development Studies, Anthropology or more general higher education courses. Sociology is relevant for a very wide variety of careers from the police, probation officers, medicine, law, industry and management, to journalism, teaching, nursing and social work. Many of these courses (e.g. law, management and medicine), now have a compulsory sociology component. Vocationally, professional sociologists carry out research for government or other organisations. You could also go straight into a job as the AS GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in the health and social care sectors.