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Sociology A Level (Distance Learning) at National Extension College *Fees Payable*

Course description



This home study sociology course takes a scientific approach to examining society: its processes, conventions, history and development. You’ll cover topics such as families and households, education, development, crime and deviance. As a means of fostering a better understanding of the complex interactions and relationships between different elements of society, whether for employment, further study or personal interest reasons, this distance learning programme is an excellent option. As the 'ology' in the name suggests, you’ll adopt a scientific approach throughout, using modern research and analysis methods to examine empirical results and complex data. 


You should allow for between 250 and 300 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.

Course content

Unit 1: Families and households

  • Introduction to theories about families and households
  • The family, morality and the state
  • Changing patterns of family life
  • Family and household diversity
  • Childhood and parenthood
  • Power, inequality and the domestic organisation of the family
  • Demographic trends in the UK since 1900

Unit 2: Education and sociological methods

  • Part 1: Education
  • The role of education in society
  • Class and educational achievement
  • Ethnicity and educational achievement
  • Gender and educational achievement
  • Relationships and processes in schools
  • Social policy and education
  • Part 2: Sociological methods
  • Researching social life
  • Choices in research: methods, theories and ethics
  • Quantitative methods of primary research
  • Qualitative methods of primary research
  • Questionnaires and interviews
  • Secondary data

Unit 3: Beliefs in society

  • Religion, science and ideology
  • Functionalist and Marxist approaches
  • Religion as a force for change (Weber and neo-Marxists)
  • Organised religion and religious activity
  • New religious and New Age movements
  • Gender, feminism and religion
  • Religion, ethnicity and youth
  • Secularisation

Unit 4: Crime and deviance

  • Deviance and control theories
  • Strain and sub-cultural theories
  • Critical criminologies
  • Labelling theory
  • Patterns of crime
  • Environmental approaches: the criminology of place and time
  • Gender issues and offending
  • Occupational, corporate and environmental crime
  • Ethnicity and crime
  • The criminal justice system: prevention, policing and punishment
  • Suicide

Entry requirements

A GCSE or equivalent in English, history or a social science is advisable for this course.


This course follows specifications 2190 (A level), 1191 (AS) and 2191 (A2) from awarding organisation AQA. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from AQA's website.

Four exams: 2hrs (30% of marks), 2hrs (30% of marks), 1hr30m (20% of marks) and 1hr (20% of marks)

Seven AS assignments, eight A2 assignments
No coursework

Please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course isSummer 2016.

Financial information



It’s your choice: pay in full and discount your course fees, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative examples:

For the full A level
Course fee:   £545
Deposit:  £54.50
Amount of credit:   £490.50
Monthly payment:  £81.75
Duration of agreement:  6 months
Total repayable:  £545
Rate of interest:  0%(fixed)
0% APR representative.  
For AS level or A2 level
Course fee:  £325
Deposit:   £32.50
Amount of credit: £292.50 
Monthly payment:   £48.75
Duration of agreement:  6 months
Total repayable:   £325
Rate of interest:  0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.  
For enrolments in the UK there are no additional postage and packing charges. For enrolments outside of the UK the following postage and packing charges apply:


  • EU – £75 for the first course and £40 for second and subsequent courses
  • Rest of the world – £130 for the first course and £70 for second and subsequent courses

Further information

Essential textbooks


  • Moore, S. et al., Sociology AS for AQA, 3rd edition, HarperCollins, 2008


  • Moore, S. et al., Sociology A2 for AQA, 3rd edition, HarperCollins, 2009


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact National Extension College *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 24 July 2019
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Key information

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Course and Fee Enquiries
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 08003892839
    • Email address:


  • More information

      This means you can study from anywhere!

      Further details of where you can sit any examinations are included in the Assessment section of each course.

      Please note that fees are payable for the National Extension College's courses.