Sociology is the study of society, not just our society but also societies around the world. The role of the sociologist is to investigate how our lives are affected by the world around us. What makes us the people we are? Why do we spend so much time worrying about how we present ourselves to the outside world? Why is it that girls perform better in their GCSEs than boys? How does the media influence the way we see our own bodies? Why are there such massive differences between the richest and poorest in society? What are the different explanations for why people commit crime? All of these important, challenging questions are learnt about and discussed in A level Sociology.

Sociology is designed to foster the development of critical and reflective thinking with a respect for social diversity and to encourage an awareness of the importance of social structure and social action in explaining social issues, such as crime. Throughout the course students are encouraged to develop skills to help them develop an understanding of the relationships between individuals in society; for example how social inequalities impact on particular groups. We will also explore how institutions in society, such as the family and education, shape personal identity, roles and culture. This subject will develop skills within your sociological understanding and knowledge as well as extended writing skills through critical evaluations of different sociological theories and methodologies.

Sociology at Key Stage 5

A Level. Examination Board: AQA

Course Content:

  • Education. The role and functions of the education system, including its relationship to the economy and to class structure.
  • Family and households. The relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with references to the economy and to state policies.
  • Crime and deviance. Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content: crime, deviance, social order and social control.
  • Beliefs in Society - Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content: Ideology, science and religion, including both Christian and non-Christian religious traditions.

Assessment Information:

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods 2 hour written exam.

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology 2 hours written exam.

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods 2 hour written exam.

I’ve not studied sociology before can I still study it?

Sociology is the study of society which means you have been studying it throughout your school career.

What do our students say?

Year 12 student

“I’m interested in sociology because I’m interested in society. You should study sociology because the teachers work hard with students and are passionate about what they do.”

Year 12 student

“Sociology helps me understand why people believe what they believe and also challenges my own beliefs which is interesting. You should study sociology at SNS because it is a good school, with good teachers and you will learn a lot.”


“You should choose sociology for one of your A levels because it gives you a deep insight of society and different peoples perspectives on ideas of feminism, functionalism and Marxism.”

The Sociology A Level course will help you to develop a number of new skills including how to use evidence to support your arguments and how to put over your point of view fluently. A range of different teaching and learning methods are used and a variety of enrichment opportunities will be planned.

Year 12 curriculum map | Year 13 curriculum map



All sociology students will have access to academic reading packs related to all topics.

There is also a wide range of classical texts and textbooks available in the student study area.

All students are signed up to an online learning platform to help with knowledge of the course. Seneca.

Students will be encouraged to read and watch the news

Students will be encouraged to watch documentaries as well as TV shows and Films relevant to the course.

Students have access to a large video and documentary library on planet e-stream.

Students will be encouraged to visit local universities for talks and lectures.

Career and future pathways

Sociology is an academic subject which is offered at all major UK universities. Because the subject develops your awareness of the issues and debates within British society, it will provide skills and knowledge which are desirable in a wide range of different occupations. Sociologists have been known to enter journalism and the media, law, social work, politics, youth work, the police force, healthcare and countless different businesses. Some have enjoyed the subject so much that they have chosen to become full-time sociologists themselves.

Famous people who studied sociology:

Rev. Martin Luther King

James Blunt

Michelle Obama

Dan Aykroyd, actor/Blues Brother