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A Level in Sociology at The Douay Martyrs School

Course description

Having an understanding of sociological ideas is essential to the educated person in the modern world. Sociology is the study of society and covers topics such as ‘Power and Politics’, ‘Crime and Deviance’, ‘Family’, ‘Education’, and ‘Religion’. These are all constantly debated in the media and in everyday life.


Each year we visit The Old Bailey, Royal Courts of Justice. We also hope to complete the Jack the Ripper walk in White Chapel as part of the extracurricular activities for the teaching of the crime and deviance topic.


Course content

AS level

Now as a standalone qualification, the AS includes the compulsory topics of Education, Methods in Context and Research Methods.

Education linked to Research Methods - The role and functions of the education system, differential educational achievement of social groups, relationships and processes within schools, the significance of educational policies. including policies of selection, marketisation and privatisation.

Research Methods - Students must examine the following areas: quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design, sources of data, the relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’.

Families and Households- The relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course. Gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships, 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 first year of the A-Level covers the same ground as the AS. For the final year of the A-Level, students must take the compulsory topic of Crime and Deviance.

Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

Students must examine the following areas: 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 - Students must examine the following areas: Consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories, the concepts of modernity and post-modernity in relation to sociological theory. The nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific.

A-Level students must then choose one more topic from a choice of four:

- Beliefs in society

- Global Development

- The media

- Stratification and differentiation.

Beliefs in Society- Students must examine the following areas: Ideology, science and religion, religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements. The relationship between different social groups and religiosity in the contemporary world.



Entry requirements

A minimum of Grade C in GCSE English.

It is not necessary to have studied Sociology previously.



AQA Specification Sociology AS and A-Level (7191, 7192) (100% exam based assessment)


AS level


Students are examined at the end of the course by two written papers:

Paper 1 – Education with Methods in Context (90 minutes) 32

Paper 2 – Research methods and Topics in Sociology (90 minutes).


For the exam, students must answer a question from one of four topic choices:

- Culture and identity

- Families and households

- Health

- Work, poverty and welfare




The A-Level is assessed by three written exam papers at the end of the course:

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods (two hours)

Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (two hours)

Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (two hours).



Future opportunities

Most universities offer degrees in Sociology or Sociology combined with English, History, Politics, Criminology, Economics, etc. Sociology is also likely to form part of other degrees such as Law and Industrial Relations. Many of our students go on to study Sociology combined with Psychology. Others find it helpful in careers such as teaching, nursing, social work, the police, law, local government and medicine amongst others.

Further information

For further information, contact Mrs M Mistry, Head of Sociology

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Douay Martyrs School directly.

Last updated date: 13 April 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year for AS, and a further 1 year for A Level