Sociology is the academic study of human social groups. It is concerned with a wide range of issues but at its heart it looks at the patterns of social groups such as social class, gender, ethnicity and age. It is a critical subject that looks at inequality, prejudice, stereotypes and power amongst other things. Below are the AQA objectives for their course.
All the following must be an integral part of the study of each topic area:
- sociological theories, perspectives and methods
- the design of the research used to obtain the data under consideration, including its strengths and limitations.
Students must study the following two core themes:
- socialisation, culture and identity
- social differentiation, power and stratification.
The themes should be understood and applied to particular substantive areas of Sociology. These themes are to be interpreted broadly as threads running through many areas of social life and should not therefore be regarded as discrete topics.
In addition, students must understand the significance of conflict and consensus, social structure and social action, and the role of values.
Contemporary UK Society
The central focus of study in this specification should be on UK society today, with consideration given to comparative dimensions where relevant, including the siting of UK society within its globalised context.
Students selecting Sociology at George Spencer Academy follow the AQA Specification. Details of which can be found by following the links below:
The A Level course in Sociology is a two year course.
In the first year the compulsory topics of the course are the Sociology of Education and research methods in Sociology. These will be taught with the optional topic of the Sociology of Families and Household.
In the second year the topics will be the Sociology of Religion, the Sociology of Crime & Deviance and Sociological Theory and Methods.
The course will be examined by three 2 hour examinations. All three papers have a range of questions of varying lengths but the key feature is that essays represent 80% of the marks.
Students will develop key academic skills over the two years:
- Knowledge and understanding of sociological research, arguments and theories.
- Analysis of data, concepts and theories.
- Evaluation of sociological data, concepts and theories with an emphasis on prioritisation and criticism.
- Application of knowledge to sociological problems and issues.
Sociology has relevance to many careers in particular those which involve people orientated work such as Law, Education, Health, Social Services, Journalism, Charity Organisations, Business, Government, Work overseas.