AQA specification for A Level Sociology
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 are not only extremely well informed about topical issues which are constantly debated in the media, but they are also 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.
The A level Sociology syllabus is wide-ranging, probing into many topical, current affairs issues and evaluating them from a sociological perspective. For instance, we will look at the reasons for rising crime rates and what the official crime figures really mean. We also examine explanations for, and social consequences of, rising divorce rates; we debate issues such as whether intelligence is inherited and fixed at birth or whether it is affected by social advantage and other environmental factors.
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. There is no coursework, and final assessment is by written examination.
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.
AQA specification for A Level Sociology
Education with Theory and Methods
2 hour written exam
33.3% of A Level
Education: short answer and extended writing (50 marks)
Candidates answer questions on the role and functions of education, as well as Government policies which may reduce or exaggerate inequality in educational opportunity.
Methods in Context: extended writing (20 marks)
Candidates must be able to apply sociological research for studying an aspect of education such as truancy.
Theory and Method: extended writing (10 marks)
A critical awareness of contemporary issues is encouraged, within a synoptic theoretical framework to demonstrate understanding and skills learnt in different aspects of the course.
Topics in Sociology
Beliefs in Society (40 marks)
The study of beliefs in this paper engages pupils in theoretical debate while encouraging an active involvement in the research process. The study fosters 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)
Pupils look at the relationships between the economy and state policies on the changing patterns of families. They are examined on issues such as gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships within the family in contemporary society.
Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
2 hour written paper
Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing (50 marks)
Candidates are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of aspects of crime and deviance, including the social distribution of crime and deviance, crime control, prevention and punishment and the role of the criminal justice system, among other aspects.
Theory and Methods: extended writing (30 marks)
Pupils engage in debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom, and the relationship between Sociology and social policy, as well as the study of gangs and rioting.
Headteacher Linda Wybar
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