A-Level General Studies
The A-Level General Studies will complement any other A-Level study because it includes content from across the curriculum. It is also a very flexible course, with choice available on subjects for study. General Studies allows you to use knowledge from your GCSEs as well as your other A-Level subjects to make links across other subjects.
It will also develop your communication skills and allow you to put forward arguments, ideas and opinions in an academic manner.
A-Level General Studies
A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of AS-Level units and A2 level units. You will study four units for the award of A-Level General Studies. The assessment for A-Level General Studies is by exam.
Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.
AS-Level General Studies
AQA offer two AS awards for General Studies, AS-Level General Studies A and AS-Level General Studies B.
- AQA AS-Level General Studies A
In AS Culture and Society, you will study a wide range of topics, including culture, innovation, beliefs, media, values and ethics. In the AS Science and Society unit, you will study scientific characteristics, human behavior, social and economic trends, scientific methods, maths as well as moral responsibility in science.
- AQA AS-Level General Studies B
In the unit Conflict, you will focus on conflicts such as human aggression, controversy in science and technology, politics and the public, media bias, competitive markets and tolerance. In the second unit, Space, you will learn about a variety of topics such as space exploration, urban and rural life, art and public space, use of land and multiculturalism.
- OCR AS-Level General Studies
In The Social Domain unit, you will explore political systems and processes, social and economic trends, human behaviour, ideologies and values in society and low, society and ethics. In the second unit, Culture, Arts and Humanities you will learn about beliefs and values, media and communication, creativity and innovation, religious beliefs and the importance of culture.
- Edexcel AS-Level General Studies
The first unit, Challenges for Society, looks at a variety of issues including technological, scientific and moral. It focuses on topics such as climate change and genetics and humane societies. In The Individual in Society unit, you will explore values, opinions and the role of the individual in society.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level General Studies
Your college or sixth form will select study topics. These will include subjects such as science and its philosophy, the environment, literature, language, arts, history, political, history, economics and maths.
A2-Level General Studies
The A2 General Studies is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level General Studies. This is not a separate award. The A2–Level General Studies with the AS-Level General Studies makes up the A-Level General Studies. A2-Level General Studies will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level General Studies.
AQA offer A2 units for either General Studies A or General Studies B.
- AQA A2 General Studies A
In the two A2 units, Culture and Society and Science and Society, you will further your existing AS knowledge in these two areas.
- AQA A2 General Studies B
In Power, you will explore a variety of issues such as the energy debate, ethics and science, law enforcement, media pressure and impact, advertising, rights and responsibilities, nationalism and internationalism. In the unit Change, you will explore a number of concepts, such as the nature of science, aesthetic criteria, heritage conservation, consumerism and the decline of ideology.
- Edexcel A2 General Studies
The Change and Progress unit explores the nature of change in human experience, such as science, technology and art. In Beliefs, Values and Responsibilities, you will learn about values and beliefs that are used in societies to guide the behaviour of both individuals and groups.
- OCR A2 General Studies
In Science, Mathematics and Technology, you will understand the characteristics of the sciences, maths and scientific enquiry. You will also discuss scientific objectivity and the implications of scientific discoveries and developments in technology. In Thinking and Analytical Skills, you will develop your skills in sourcing information, communication and numerical and data skills.
A-Level General Studies Exam Board Information
- The specification for AQA AS-Level and A-Level General Studies A and General Studies B are available on their website.
- The specification for OCR AS and A-Level General Studies is available here.
- The Edexcel AS and A-Level General Studies specification is available from their website.
- The relevant year syllabus for Cambridge International AS Level General Studies is available here.
Whatever your chosen career path, A-Level General Studies is a subject that will always help you professionally, as it shows that you have good communication skills and the ability to analyse a variety of information and data. Students who wish to study further in Sociology, Politics, Media Studies or Philosophy at university may choose A-Level General Studies alongside other A-Level subjects.
Other Useful Information
- OCR past papers are available on their website.
- Past papers and exemplar materials for Edexcel A-Levels are available here.
- There are a number of past question papers available for the University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level General Studies.
- Further links to General Studies revision resources are available through getrevising.co.uk.