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A Level Sociology at Matthew Arnold School

Course description

AQA AS (7191) The AS specification has 2 units and both are assessed by written paper Unit 1: Education and Methods in Context. -1 hour 30 minutes written paper which is 50% of AS Unit 2: Culture and Identity; Families and Household; Health; Work, Poverty and Welfare and Research Methods – 1 hour 30 minutes written paper which is 50% of AS

At AS students study Families and Households, Education and Research Methods. Sociology students at Matthew Arnold have a keen interest in the nature of contemporary society. What makes up society? Who benefits most from certain structures and laws? What is really happening behind the closed doors of different families and the classroom? Women’s rights, racial and ethnic inequalities, environmental concerns, poverty, inequalities at work or in access to healthcare, housing or education are all issues into which we will delve deeper. You will need to be sceptical. In sociology, you should not take anything for granted. For example, you will be taught to question the common-sense observations of newspaper columnists, TV chat shows and Home Office statistics on the incidence of crime.

AQA A-level (7192) The A-level specification has 3 units and all are assessed by a 2 hour written paper each worth 80 marks or 33.3% of the A-level.

Unit 1 Education with Theory and Methods

Unit 2 Topics in Sociology

Option 1: Culture and Identity; Families and Household; Health; Work, Poverty and Welfare

Option 2: Beliefs in Society; Global Development; The Media; Stratification and Differentiation.

Unit 3 Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods:

At A- level, candidates will continue to focus on contemporary society but they should demonstrate a wider range and greater depth of knowledge and understanding and more highly developed skills of application, analysis, interpretation and evaluation. Over the two years you will have developed a very strong and balanced knowledge-base on the subject of sociology.

A good sociology student will need more than a passionate concern for issues of injustice and inequality. You will need to be equally passionate about understanding how society works: its structure, the mechanisms of its processes of change, the unnoticed, taken-for-granted but binding rules which govern the everyday behaviour of people in everyday situations - in the office, factory, supermarket, family home or classroom. Why do people act the way they do? Why is it ‘correct’ that teachers can tell students what to do whilst they are in the classroom but not if they saw them in town on a Saturday?

Please note the AS examination no longer contributes to the A-level qualification. Students will take the AS examination at the end of year 12 and they will go

Entry requirements

Students are likely to have researched an interest in Sociology and its areas of study.

Further information

Sociology for AQA AS Level, Haralambos and Holborn ‘Sociology’, Collins AQA for AS and reading a quality newspaper on a regular basis would also be an advantage. Sociology in Focus for AQA AS Sociology

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Matthew Arnold School directly.

Last updated date: 16 April 2015
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    • Students have their own centre with its dedicated study room, common room and computer facilities. Sixth Form students are encouraged to play an active part in the wider life of the school taking advantage of a broad range of enrichment activities including enrichment days, sport, music and drama. Students are also expected to contribute to the wider community through a Community Service programme and assuming roles of responsibility within the school. OFSTED found that “Sixth form students are positive role models within the school and make a good contribution to the school’s ethos, supporting teachers in modelling excellent behaviour and conduct.

      We offer a comprehensive selection of A level subjects, from traditional courses through to newer subjects such as film studies, photography and computing. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with an excellent record in A level success.