If you choose to study A-Level Sociology then you will be learning how to study society. You will develop skills in both critical and reflective thinking as well as developing a respect for social diversity. You will also gain knowledge of social structure and social action.
You will learn that there are no right or wrong answers in sociology; instead, it allows you to develop the skills to evaluate the evidence for yourself and choose possible explanations. By studying Sociology, it also shows that you are not afraid to be challenged by new ideas.
A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of AS-Level units and A2-level units. You will study four set units. The assessment for A-Level Sociology is by coursework and 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.
- AQA AS-Level Sociology
In the first unit and second unit, you will study two core topics. The first is socialisation, culture and identity and the second is social differentiation, power and stratification. In the first unit you will also explore culture and identity; families and households; wealth, poverty and welfare. In the second unit, you will additionally study education, health and sociological methods.
- OCR AS-Level Sociology
The first unit, Exploring Socialisation, Culture and Identity will allow you to develop knowledge of how culture forms, how socialisation occurs and how this helps to create identities. You will also learn about both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. In the Topics in Socialisation, Culture and Identity unit, you will study sociology of the family, health, religion or youth.
- WJEC AS-Level Sociology
In the Acquiring Culture unit, you will explore socialisation and culture and focus on how culture is transmitted, as well as the sources of identity. You will also explore social inequalities. You have the opportunity to focus on families and culture, youth culture or community and culture. In the Understanding Culture unit, you will develop knowledge of research methods and you will explore either education, religion or the mass media in detail.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Sociology
The first unit is The Sociological Perspective and this will introduce you to key theories and concepts of sociological understanding of human behaviour. In Sociological Methods, you will develop understanding of basic concepts and issues of research design and evaluation, including research theories and methods.
The A2 Sociology is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Sociology. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Sociology with the AS-Level Sociology makes up the A-Level Sociology. A2-Level Sociology will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Sociology.
- AQA A2 Sociology
Beliefs in Society; Global Development; Mass Media; Power and Politics will allow you to become aware of social processes change and allow you to engage in theoretical debate. You will focus on beliefs in society, mass media, power and politics and global development. In the second A2 unit, Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods: Stratification and Differentiation with Theory and Methods you will have the opportunity to put your research knowledge into practice in the areas of crime and deviance, stratification and differentiation.
- OCR A2 Sociology
The first A2 unit, Power and control will allow you to select to study either the sociology of crime and deviance, education, mass media or power and politics. In Exploring Social Inequality, you will study gender, class, ethnicity and age.
- WJEC A2 Sociology
The first AS unit is Understanding Power and Control and you will develop your knowledge from your AS units to respond to questions of inequalities of power and control. You will focus on one of the following: understanding crime, understanding politics or understanding health and disability. In the Understanding Social Divisions unit, you will carry out a research methods assessment and study one of the following in detail: World sociology or social inequality.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations A2 Sociology
The first A2 unit, Social Differentiation and Stratification will allow you to develop understanding about the processes that shape life chances of both individuals and groups, with a focus on inequalities, such as in social class and ethnicity. In Families and Households, you will examine the family in relation to both individuals and social structure.
A-Level Sociology Exam Board Information
- The AQA A-Level Sociology specification is available from the AQA website.
- The specification for the OCR AS and A-Level Sociology is available here.
- The specification for WJEC A-Level Sociology is available here.
- The relevant year syllabus for Cambridge International AS and A-Level Sociology is available here.
Most people study A-Level Sociology so that they can study Sociology at University. Others students will choose to study social science programmes, such as Social Work, Psychology, Health Studies, Youth Work, Counselling and many others. Sociology can also be useful for those who are considering studying politics, philosophy, media studies or ethics. By studying A-Level sociology, you will also develop good research and analytical skills that are useful in almost any career path.
Other Useful Information
- OCR past papers are available on their website.
- AQA offer past papers for A-Level Sociology.
- CCEA offer past papers on their website.
- There are a number of past question papers available for the University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Sociology.
- Further links to Sociology resources are available through NGfL Cymru.
- S-cool has a selection of sociology revision resources.
- Sociology Central offer a variety of notes for AS and A2 Sociology units.