Sociology is the study of how human societies shape the lives of the people who live in them


People make lots of decisions in the course of living every day. But we make these decisions within the context of “society;” our family, school, nation and the larger world.

Are you curious about why things are as they are? Do you want to make the world a better place?

Are you a people watcher who enjoys seeing what others do and how they react to various situations?

Are you fascinated by the customs and cultures of people who differ from you?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you may have what it takes to become a sociologist!

By studying A Level Sociology, you will:

Develop a knowledge and understanding of the way society works and of how the members of society interact with each other;

Use sociological theories to explain social problems and issues such as crime, education, inequality and poverty;

Develop an understanding of the methods used by sociologists to find out about the social world;

Reflect on your own experience of the social world in which we live;

Develop skills which you will be able to use in other subjects and in your wider social life;

Be able to apply your knowledge of sociology to everyday life and, as a result, become more aware of the many ways in which we are all different.

Special Features

An interest in the news and current affairs is an advantage. We also aim to visit some parts of the country and schools that are very different to our own.


Please refer to The John of Gaunt Sixth Form entry requirements.


Two full years.

5 lessons per week plus after school revision sessions prior to exams.


A Level Sociology – AQA Exam Board

Three 2 hour exams.

Compulsory content:

  • Education with Theory and Methods – to include

–          Why do girls do better than boys at school?

–          Why do some ethnic groups do better than others?

–          Why do wealthier students do better than poorer ones?

–          How do people do research?

–          How do people do research specifically about education?

  • Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods – to include

–          Why do some people commit crime?

–          Why are you more likely to be stopped and searched by the police if you are black?

–          Why are there less women in prison than there are men?

–          How do people do research?

–          How do people do research specifically about crime?

Optional content:

Option 1 – a choice of one from the following

  • Culture and Identity – where does your identity come from? How has it changed over time?
  • Families and Households – why do we have less children than we used to? What is the purpose of families?
  • Health – why is life expectancy higher for wealthier people? How do we define mental illness or disability and why does it matter?
  • Work, Poverty and Welfare – why do we have a minimum wage but not a maximum wage? Who is poor? How do we know? How has this changed? What can we do to prevent poverty?

Option 2 – a choice of one from the following

  • Beliefs in Society – Does religion cause change or maintain stability? Is religion still important? Are we becoming more or less religious?
  • Global Development – Globalisation, aid and trade, and their influence on the cultural, political and economic relationships between societies. Are big businesses taking over the world?
  • The Media – Who owns and controls the media and the news and why does it matter? How is new media changing us and the world? How are different groups represented in the media?
  • Stratification and Differentiation – dimensions of inequality: class, status and power; differences in life-chances by social class, gender, ethnicity, age and disability the problems of defining and measuring social class; occupation, gender and social class.

Moving on

Your A level in Sociology will equip you with many transferable skills that you can use in other subjects and in other areas of your life.  Most degree courses include some Sociology, e.g:

Medicine & Nursing – the Sociology of Health

History – Social and economic history

English – the social context of novels, feminism in the novel, the development of language

 There are also many degree courses where an A level in Sociology will be really helpful, if not essential:

Sociology, Social Policy and Administration, Criminology, Cultural Studies, Law, American Studies, Psychology, Anthropology etc

Sociology also opens doors to many areas of employment:

Social researcher, Counsellor, Community worker, Probation Officer, Social worker, Charity fundraiser, Primary or Secondary school teacher, FE Lecturer, Retail Manager, Local Councillor, Journalist, TV researcher, Political researcher, Police Officer or even an agent for MI5!

Contact details: Miss J Martin at