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Sociology, AQA at Penistone Grammar Advanced Learning Centre

Course description

Sociology is the study of society. Central to this is the consideration of the relationship between individuals, cultures and communities with structures of power, such as the Government or wealthy people. There are a host of interesting topics to be explored including power and inequality, sexuality, suicide and religious fundamentalism.

You must be able to examine your own views of the world and accept other peoples' point of view. You will be expected to form your own opinions and be able to back these up in a rational way. Like with many subjects you will be expected to keep up to date the current events, be prepared to read extensively and participate in discussions.



Course content

Year 12
 Education and Research Methods - investigating how variables such as social class and gender can shape educational outcomes. 
 Families, Households and Research Methods – focuses on which type of families are common, whether there is such a thing as a ‘normal’ family and the damage that can be done within the private sphere of family life. 
Year 13
 Crime and Deviance with Theory and Research Methods Looking at the various theories on why people commit crimes, the differences in the profiles of criminals, why certain people are more likely to commit a crime or be labelled as a criminal and how our definition of what is criminal is changing with new technology. 
 Beliefs in Society - Concentrating on the significance of religion in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of a reduction in religious beliefs, the spread of religious fundamentalism as well as questioning if science has reduced the need for religion. 

Entry requirements

To secure a place at our Post 16 Centre five passes or more GCSE passes at grade C or above and a minimum of a C grade in both English Language and Mathematics.  All students will also need a B Grade GCSE in any subject they are wanting to study at A Level. 

Students wishing to study A level Sociology need a good foundation in English for extended writing (minimum Grade B at GCSE). The course also involves the application and analysis of mathematical data so students are required to have a B 
grade GCSE in this subject. 


All assessments are by external examination.

Your exams are a mixture of short questions, mini-essays and large essays. You will undertake a great deal of practice questions throughout the year to prepare you.


Future opportunities

You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Sociology, which could lead you onto higher education in one or more of the Social Sciences such as Sociology, Development Studies, Anthropology or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Sociology and people such as a Social Worker, Teacher, Social Researcher or a more general position working within the Social Services.

Further information

Mrs J Farrell (subject learning leader) e-mail



How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Penistone Grammar Advanced Learning Centre directly.

Last updated date: 12 November 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: AS 1 year, A2 2 years
  • Course code: AQA 2190