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Sociology A level at Oldfield School

Course description

Sociology is the study of human societies, in all sorts of contexts. It is a very broad discipline. It is classed as a social science. In Sociology there are a lot of theories that you have to learn and understand. You also have to learn how to apply them and criticize them. Once the main theories are understood (Feminist, Marxist, Functionalist, New Right etc.) we apply them to the different topics. You will also study different ways of doing research and how to analyse results. You will look at advertisements and news stories in a completely new way! It's a very interesting subject and a lot of the theories and studies do have a common sense factor behind them.

Sociology is a mainly essay based subject so be expected to write many, although they do not always have to be very long. You will also be expected to do your own research and keep up to date with current affairs.

Course content

The AS course is comprised of two units:

Unit 1 Families and Households. This unit examines the role of the family in society and examines how family life has changed over the past century.

Unit 2 Education and Sociological Methods. This unit looks at the purpose of education and examines the factors that contribute to the academic success of a student.

The A2 course is also comprised of two units:

Unit 3 Beliefs in Society. This unit looks at the role of religion and sects and cults in society.

Unit 4 Crime and Deviance. This unit examines reasons why people are deviant and commit crimes.

Entry requirements

Grade C or above in English Language and Maths. It is NOT a requirement to have studied Sociology at GCSE. The work requires you to have good extended writing skills.


Examination Board – AQA

There are two unit examinations in Year 12 which are externally assessed, with a paper on each of the topics. In Year 13 there are also two externally assessed unit examinations.

Future opportunities

Sociology is an essential part of many higher education courses including Law, Medicine, Social Work, Criminology, Health and Social Care and Teacher Training. It provides a good background for careers in publishing, civil service, law, education and social work.

Further information

Am I suited to this course?

You would be well-suited to studying Sociology at A level if you:

  • have an interest in people and the way we are shaped by the world around us
  • have an interest in how societies change and develop over time
  • are willing to take on board new ideas and ways of thinking
  • want to develop the way you organise and present information, ideas and arguments
  • want to find out how society works
  • enjoy testing theories to find out if they are true

What other subjects does it complement?

Sociology complements a number of other subjects, but particularly History, Psychology, Law, Film Studies, Geography and the Natural Sciences.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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