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Sociology A Level at The Hayfield School

Course description

"My students often ask me, ‘What is sociology?’ And I tell them, ‘It’s the study of the way in which human beings are shaped by things that they don’t see."

Sam Richards

“Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

Karl Marx

Course content

Three AQA units taught over two years at A Level. It is envisaged that the majority of pupils will complete the A Level course. However, the option to study the course at AS Level exists alongside those who are studying the full A Level.

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods – Short answer and extended writing – Students will study a range of issues including, the role and functions of the education system, reasons for differential achievement on the basis of class, gender and ethnicity and Educational policy. Students will also be expected to apply a sociological research method to the study of education.

Paper 2 – Families and Households and Beliefs in society – Students will study a range of issues relating to families and households including; the changing nature of the family, divorce, cohabitation and marriage, the dark side of family life. The Beliefs in Society unit will focus on the role of religion in modern society and secularisation.

Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods – This will include sociological explanations for crime, solutions to crime, and patterns of crime in relation to gender, class and ethnicity. Students will also explore social theory

Entry requirements

C grade or above in Sociology, History or Geography at GCSE. At least a grade C in English language.


A Level Paper 1 is examined by a 2 hour short answer / extended writing based examination.

Paper 2 is examined by another 2 hour extended writing examination. At AS these examinations are 1hour 30 minutes and worth 50% each.

At A Level Paper 3 is examined by a final 2 hour written exam which includes short answer and extended writing tasks.

Future opportunities

Sociology sharpens students’ ability to think clearly and critically, to write effectively, read critically and communicate intelligently. Its study is therefore ideal preparation for careers in journalism, marketing, politics, public relations or publishing.

Sociology also teaches how to make sensible judgements based on the evidence available, how to succinctly state your case and how to analyse and evaluate causes, reasons and consequences. These are the high level skills and abilities sought by employers in fields such as the civil service, social work, the prison and police service, finance, local government, the NHS, law and of course teaching.

Importantly, A Level Sociology is a passport to a good University. Many of our students go on to study Sociology at University and some have even become teachers of the subject!

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 June 2016
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