Link to OFSTED Report
Sociology AQA Advanced GCE

Sociology involves an analysis of human behaviour patterns and their relationships with each other. It is known as the Science of Society and incorporates 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 A Level syllabus.

Sociology provides a fascinating, new, enlightened, analytical perspective. Topics are relevant for many 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, and the social effects of the recent recession.

  A LEVEL EXAMINATION: June 2019 - 2 hour examination for each paper. WEIGHTING
Education: short answer and extended writing (50 marks): candidates answer questions on the Role and Impact of Education, as well as Government Policies which may reduce, or exaggerate, inequality in educational opportunity. To stretch pupils to engage in theoretical debate while encouraging an active involvement with the research process
Methods in Context: extended writing (20 marks): the use of sociological research for studying an aspect of education such as Truancy.
Theory and Method: extended writing (10 marks): A critical awareness of contemporary issues and is encouraged, within a synoptic theoretical framework to demonstrate understanding and skills learnt in different aspects of the course.
Beliefs in Society (40 marks): The study of Beliefs in this paper should, in addition, engage pupils in theoretical debate while encouraging an active involvement with the research process. The study should foster a critical awareness of contemporary social processes and change, such as the significance of Religion and Religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of Secularisation in a Global Context, and Globalisation and the Spread of Religions.
Families and Households (40 marks): looking at the relationships between the economy and state policies on the changing patterns of families including issues such as Gender Roles, Domestic Labour and Power Relationships within the Family in contemporary society, the Nature of Childhood and Changes in Their Status in the family as well as Demographic Trends.
Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing (50 marks): Crime, Deviance, Social Order and Social Control, and the Social Distribution of Crime and Deviance by Ethnicity, Gender and Social Class, including recent patterns and trends in crime. Globalisation and Crime in Contemporary Society; the Media and Crime, Green Crime, Human Rights and State Crimes are also studied, as well as Crime Control, Surveillance, Prevention and Punishment, Victims, and the Role of the Criminal Justice System and other agencies.
Theory and Methods: extended writing (30 marks): debates about Subjectivity, Objectivity and Value Freedom, and the relationship between Sociology and social policy, as well as the study of Gangs and Rioting.

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 may have the opportunity to attend a conference in London, which costs approximately £20 plus travel. ‘Sociology Review’ magazines are available at a reduced rate subscription of approximately £14. There is no coursework, and final assessment is by written examination.

Pupils could take this course to complement other advanced level courses such as a science or to prepare for higher education, studying Sociology as a degree 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 sociology component. Vocationally, professional sociologists carry out research for government or other organisations. Pupils could also go straight into a job as the GCE is a recognised qualification that will encourage the exploration of the analytical mind and the development of the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers are looking for.

Also see related pages: Curriculum and Prospectus