A Level
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Fiona Webb

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society and human social behaviour. The focus is to study the way that society influences the individual but also how the individual can influence society. Overall, the aim is to investigate and explain what people do and why.

Sociology covers a broad range of topics throughout the two years. In your first year, you will explore families and households and you will be investigating how family types and roles in the family have changed. You will also study education in your first year which will include you questioning whether or not everyone has an equal chance to do well in the UK. In the second year, you will explore global development and you will compare and contrast the developed world and the developing world. Furthermore, you will also study crime and deviance and you will investigate why people commit crime and who commits the most crime.

These investigations require a willingness to reject what is ‘obvious’ or ‘common sense’ and to go beneath the surface. The fascination of sociology is that it makes us see our world in a new light and realise that things are not always what they seem.

Is Sociology suitable for me?

Sociology is suitable for you if you are interested in contemporary UK society as the central focus of study in this specification is on UK society today. It is also an excellent choice of course for you if you are happy to engage in theoretical debate while encouraging an active involvement with the relevant sociological research.

Sociology does involve an extensive amount of reading and essay writing; however it is suitable for those with a good GCSE grade in English in particular. No prior knowledge of Sociology is needed and in fact, it is new for the majority of students.

“Sociology teaches you to open your ears and eyes – which helps you open your mind!”         Helen

“Adults say teenagers think they know everything. Sociology helps me to argue my case…”        Lucinda

“Sociology broadens your mind and makes you question attitudes and systems you’ve always taken for granted. Even if you don’t want to take it any further it’s a liberating experience.”        Hannah

How will I learn?

Sociology includes a range of teaching and learning activities. You will learn through lectures, class discussions and debates, group activities and presentations and essays and writing activities.

You are expected to complete independent study for Sociology including keeping up to date with current affairs and reading widely around the various topic areas.

The topics you will study include:

  • Education with Theory and Methods.
  • Families and Households.
  • Global Development.
  • Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods.

How will I be assessed?

The Sociology A level is 100% examination based. To achieve the A level in Sociology, you will sit three two hour exams at the end of your second year and they are equally weighted.


As an academic subject, Sociology is a good preparation for study in Higher Education and for a wide variety of careers as it teaches a wide range of skills including how to think critically, how to engage in debate, how to work independently and as part of a group and how to write essays. A sociological background is of particular value for a wide range of careers including management, human resources, market research, teaching, law, journalism, administration, nursing, social work, the police and business.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer disks and calculators (where appropriate).

Any further costs are outlined below:
Essential: £30 for textbooks
Essential: £20 for course printed resources
Optional: £35 for magazine subscription, and trips (which are an optional extra)

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course code

Sociology 7191