Exam Board: AQA


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This award is a two year A Level qualification. 

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods


The A-level specification is designed to be taken over two years with all assessments taken at the end of the course. Students must provide extended responses that draw upon the Integral elements and Core themes as threads throughout all written assessments for Sociology. Students are expected to draw links between these threads and subject content, and also between elements of subject content, in order to demonstrate the skills of application, analysis and evaluation. There are three exam papers which each have a duration of two hours. Each exam paper has a total of 80 marks and is worth 33.3% of the overall qualification.


Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods

Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content

  • the role and functions of the education system, including its relationship to the economy and to class structure.
  • differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society.
  • relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil identities and subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning
  • the significance of educational policies, including policies of selection, marketisation and privatisation, and policies to achieve greater equality of opportunity or outcome, for an understanding of the structure, role, impact and experience of and access to education; the impact of globalisation on educational policy.

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology

Topic 1: Families and Households

  • the relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with particular reference to the economy and to state policies
  • changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures
  • gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships within the family in contemporary society
  • the nature of childhood, and changes in the status of children in the family and society
  • demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900: birth rates, death rates, family size, life expectancy, ageing population, and migration and globalisation.

Topic 2: The Media

  • the new media and their significance for an understanding of the role of the media in contemporary society
  • the relationship between ownership and control of the media
  • the media, globalisation and popular culture
  • the processes of selection and presentation of the content of the news
  • media representations of age, social class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability
  • the relationship between the media, their content and presentation, and audiences.

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

  • crime, deviance, social order and social control
  • 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
  • crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies.


There are many career fields linked to Sociology, some examples are: human resources, the criminal justice system including law and punishment, the education system, the government, social sciences and business.


A level Sociology goes well with most subject combinations and you may find that skills learnt in Sociology can support you in other subject areas. Sociology works especially well as a complement to other essay writing subjects such as History, Geography, English and Psychology. It is also considered to be an attractive option alongside science based subjects.