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Exam Board Specification


Description of course

Students will learn the fundamentals of sociology, studying people of society and their behaviour. Students will study various sociologists who have created theories to explain human behaviour and the workings of society. The theories are explanations of the patterns we find in society for example; we may have a theory as to why there are differences in girls’ and boys’ achievement levels in school.
Studying sociology will enable students to discuss social issues in a more informed and systematic way and it will help them to make sense of their own and other people’s experiences. These skills students develop will enable them to think logically about the world. Additionally students will also develop skills valued by higher education and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.

How the course is assessed

Paper and topics Length of exam Marks awarded Type of questions
Paper 1: Education with methods in context 2 hours 80 marks Education: Short answers and extended writing
Methods in context: Extended writing
Paper 2: Families and households and Beliefs in Society 2 hours 80 marks Families and Households: Extended writing
Beliefs in Society: Extended writing
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance and Theory and Methods 2 hours 80 marks Crime and Deviance: Short answers and extended writing
Theory and methods: Extended writing



A level paper 1: Education and methods in context
Year 1: Family Year 1 and Year 2: Research methods
Class differences in achievement – internal and external factors Various research methods to investigate education – experiments, questionnaires, interviews, observation and secondary sources
Ethnic differences in achievement Education – the research context
Gender differences in achievement  
The role of education in society  
Educational policy and inequality  


A level paper 3: Crime and Deviance and theory and methods
Year 2: Crime Year 2: Theory and methods
Theories of crime Methods – qualitative and quantitative research methods
Class, power and crime Theories - Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism and Action
Gender, crime and justice Sociology as a science
Ethnicity, crime and justice Objectivity and values in sociology
Crime and the media Globalisation, modernity and postmodernity
Globalisation, green crime, human rights and state crime  
Control, punishment and victims  


Higher education, future careers and progression routes

Sociology is designed to prepare students for a whole range of further study and occupations. Sociology students often progress into careers such as public sector welfare work for example the probation service or social work, work in human resources and teaching. Sociology as an A level is compatible with subjects such as English, Government and Politics, History and other essay based subjects. This is because it allows students to practice their essay writing skills and use knowledge from other subjects to build upon their own.

2017 Examination success rates:

Pass rate 100%
A*-B 78%
A*-C 93%

Entry criteria:

Students must meet the Consortium minimum entry criteria for A Level courses, that is, a GCSE grade 5 or above in English Literature, grade 4 or above in English Language and grade 4 or above in Maths, as well as a point score of 46 or higher.

Additional information:

  • You would find it useful to start reading newspapers, watching the news and researching some key contemporary issues within our current society. These do not have to be directly related to the topics we are studying but could be used in addition to demonstrate breadth of knowledge using relevant and current sources. These can be incorporated into different aspects of the sociology course throughout both years.
  • You could also look at some books that provide you with an introduction to sociology. This will allow you to obtain a foundation of knowledge that can be developed when you begin the course at the start of year 12.

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