Sociology at A Level

Course Overview

Students will sit a total of 3 papers. Each of the three units are worth 33.3% of the A Level qualification and are assessed through three, 2 hour exams.

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods (33.3%)

This paper will be delivered at Year 12. Students will explore the following areas:

Section A: Education – Students will explore what is the role and purpose of education; the differing experiences of pupils, and how this shapes and affects their educational achievement and identity; how different minority groups experience education; how educational policies in the UK affect and shape education.

Section B: Methods in Context – Students will also cover the ways in which different research methods are used by sociologists and what are the strengths and weaknesses of these methods to investigate education.

Section C: Research Methods – Students will explore the various research methods that sociologists use to investigate society; and the strengths and weaknesses of adopting these methods.

Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (33.3%)

Section A: one option from Topics in Sociology: Culture and Identity, Families and Households Health & Work Poverty and Welfare (this will be taught in Year 12). The chosen topic for 2016-2017 is: Families and Households.

Section B: one option from the following topics: Beliefs in Society, The Media, Global Development, Stratification and Differentiation (this will be taught in Year 13). The chosen topic will be: The Media.

Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (33.3%)

Section A: Crime and Deviance – Students will look at Crime and Deviance, which will be delivered in Year 13. They will consider key questions such as: What are the theories of crime and deviance in relation to social control? Who is more likely to commit crime and why? How does the media influence the rate of crime? What are the demographic trends in the crime statistics?

Section B: Theory and Methods – Student will build on the research methods they learnt at Year 12 and will consider the methodological strengths and weaknesses of using each method to research society. As well as this, students will also explore sociological perspectives and their view of society, including Marxism, Feminism, Functionalism, Interactionism and Postmodernism.

How will I be assessed?

We follow the AQA specification. There is no coursework, assessment is based on exams. Students will sit a total of three papers at the end of Year 13 which will all make up 33.3% of their overall A-Level. Each paper is 2 hours long and is assessed via short answer questions and extended writing questions (up to 30 mark essays).