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Exam Board and Specification Codes: AQA (7192) 

Sociology is a diverse subject concerned with analysing human social behaviour, institutions and social processes. Students examine the development of human society from prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups to contemporary post-industrial societies, and gain an appreciation of broad trends underlying social change and the formation of the modern world. 

Sociology involves the study of wealth, power, status, poverty and social class, as well as politics, race, nationalism and cultural identity.

The course covers the role of family, education, religion, the media, leisure and the arts. Pupils also study government, social control systems and crime, international politics, globalisation, development and aid. 

Although the focus of the course is on contemporary society, students have the opportunity to study non-Western and historical cultures radically different from their own.

What is covered by the 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 
  • attention must be given to drawing out the links between topic areas studied 

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. 

Year 1 

Component 1 - Education with research methods 
Component 2 - Family 

Year 2 

Component 3 - Media 
Component 4 - Crime and Deviance (with theory and methods) 

How is it examined? 

At the end of the two years, students sit three papers, each of them 2 hours long. 

Paper 1 - Written Assessment (2 hours) 

  • Education with Theory and Methods 
  • 33.33% of the total A-Level 

Paper 2 - Written Assessment (2 hours) 

  • Topics in Sociology 
  • 33.33% of the total A-Level 

Paper 3 - Written Assessment (2 hours) 

  • Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods 
  • 33.33% of the total A-Level 

Related university courses & careers? 

The valuable transferable skills gained through Religious Studies set students up well for any arts or humanities course at university. The courses the most closely linked are, of course, Theology and Philosophy, but, owing to its interdisciplinary nature, students also emerge from the A-Level well-equipped to study subjects as diverse as Law, English, and the Social Sciences. The way of thinking it promotes, the breadth of subject matter it covers, and the academic skills it imparts provide a good grounding for a variety of careers. 

Suggested literature & resources 

Year 1 

‘Sociology for AQA VOL 1: AS and 1st Year A level’ by Ken Browne 
‘Success at AS Level’ by Rob Webb and Keith Trobe 
‘AQA Unit 1 Workbook: Families and Households’ by Jonathan Blundell 
‘Sociology in Pictures: Research Methods’ by Michael Haralambos 
‘Life at the Bottom’ by William Dalrymple 
‘Kes’ by Ken Loach 

Year 2 

‘Sociology for AQA VOL 2: 2nd Year A level’ by Ken Browne 
‘Success at A2’ by Rob Webb and Keith Trobe 
‘A2 Unit 4 Workbook: Crime and Deviance’ by Dave Bown 
‘Collins Key Concepts in Sociology’ by Painter and Zariff 
‘Hard Times: Inside America’s Toughest Jail’ by Shaun Attwood 
‘The Welfare State We’re In’ by James Bartholomew 

Lower School

Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400

Sixth Form

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577

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