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Course Name: Sociology A Level
Exam Board: AQA

Course Specification

What will you study?

Sociology is a social science which helps to make sense of the way in which society works. Those who study sociology will become adept in understanding and analysing sociological issues and devising potential solutions and improvements, perhaps by addressing social inequalities relating to factors such as class, gender, race and poverty.

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods
  • The role and functions of the education system, economy and class structure
  • Differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity
  • Relationships and processes within schools
  • The significance of educational policies
Methods in Context

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

Theory and Methods
  • Types of research
  • 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 nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific
  • The relationship between theory and methods
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
Families and Households
  • The relationship of the family to the social structure and social change
  • Changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce and childbearing
  • Gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships within the family
  • The nature of childhood, and changes in the status of children in the family and society
  • Demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900
The Media
  • The new media and their significance for an understanding of the role of the media in contemporary society
  • The relationship between ownership and control of the media
  • The media, globalisation and popular culture
  • The processes of selection and presentation of the content of the news
  • Media representations of age, social class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability
  • The relationship between the media, their content and presentation, and audiences.
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods 
  • 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 (as before)