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Sociology

Sociology is a social science that studies human societies and how they interact to shape people’s beliefs, behaviours and identity.

AS and A level

At key stage 5 we offer AQA A level sociology.  This involves the study of contemporary social issues within differing theoretical frameworks.  Areas considered are: changing family structure; the education system; crime and deviance; belief systems.  Assessment is by exams.

 

Year 12: AS Sociology

Paper 1: Education with Methods in Context Paper 2: Research Methods and Topics in Sociology                

Education

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.

Methods in Context

Students must be able to apply sociological research methods to the study of education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Methods

Quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design

Sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents and official statistics

The distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data

The relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’

The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research.

 

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.

 

 

Exam information

1 hour 30 minutes written exam

60 marks

50% of AS level

Education: short answer and extended writing, 40 marks

Methods in Context: extended writing, 20 marks

 

Exam Information

1 hour 30 minutes written exam

60 marks

50% of AS level

 Section A: short answer and extended writing, 20 marks

Section B: short answer and extended writing, 40 marks

 

 

A-LEVEL Sociology

Paper 1: Education with Theory & Methods   Paper 2: Topics in Sociology Paper 3: Crime & Deviance with Theory & Methods   

Education

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.

Methods in Context

Students must be able to apply sociological research methods to the study of education.

Theory and Methods

Students must examine the following areas:

Quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design

Sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents and official statistics

The distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data

The relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’

The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research

Consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories

The concepts of modernity and post-modernity in relation to sociological theory

The nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific

The relationship between theory and methods

Debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom

The relationship between Sociology and social policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

The relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations

Religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice

The relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices

The significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context, and globalisation and the spread of religions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime and Deviance

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.

Theory and Methods

Students must examine the following areas:

Quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design

Sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents and official statistics

The distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data

The relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’

The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research

Consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories

The concepts of modernity and post-modernity in relation to sociological theory

The nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific

The relationship between theory and methods

Debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom

The relationship between Sociology and social policy.

 

 

Exam Information Exam Infomation Exam Information

2 hour written exam

80 marks

33.3% of A-level

Education: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks

Methods in Context: extended writing, 20 marks

Theory and Methods: extended writing, 10 marks

2 hour written exam

80 marks

33.3% of A-level

Section A: extended writing, 40 marks

Section B: extended writing, 40 marks

 

2 hour written exam

80 marks

33.3% of A-level

Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks

Theory and Methods: extended writing, 30 marks