Sociology is the study of how society is organised and how we experience life. It aims to foster the development of critical and reflective thinking in students.

This subject gives you the opportunity to look at key aspects of life such as family, peer groups, education and crime. We will explore the concept of family and how the structure of family over time has impacted society as a whole.

This course will introduce students to the core themes of socialisation, culture and identity, along with social differentiation, power and stratification in society. Learners will develop skills that will enable them to focus on issues and structures in society and develop a lifelong interest in social policy and issues. Furthermore, it the course will explore the methods of sociological enquiry and develops knowledge and understanding of contemporary social processes and social change in the context of social inequality and difference.

A Level Sociology

This option focuses on debates in contemporary society through a detailed study of crime and deviance. The social construction of crime and deviance are considered and the ways in which crime is socially distributed, explained and reduced. This option introduces a global dimension, with reference to patterns and trends. It aims to give an understanding of different theoretical approaches to the study of crime and deviance.

The content of Units 1 and 2 studied for AS are also tested for A level assessment.  They make up 65% of the final A-level grade

Unit 3:   Debates in Contemporary Society: Globalisation and the Digital World: Option 1: Crime and Deviance

This unit is worth 35% of the total A-level.

A Level Sociology assessment structure

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods
2 hour written exam, 80 marks, 33.3% of A level

  • Education
  • Methods in Context
  • Theory and Methods

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
2 hour written exam, 80 marks, 33.3% of A level

  • Families and Households
  • Beliefs in Society

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
2 hour written exam, 80 marks, 33.3% of A level

  • Crime and Deviance
  • Theory and Methods


Over two years of study, students will cover the following topics:

  • Education- what role and function does the education system play in society? How significant are the educational policies implemented by government? How and why does educational achievement differ depending on factors such as gender, ethnicity and social class?
  • Methods in Context: Students are required to apply their knowledge and understanding of sociological research methods to the study of education.
  • Theory and Methods- What is the process of conducting sociological research? Which types of data are used to study society and how can they be analysed? What is the difference between consensus and conflict theories, as well as structural and social action theories?
  • Families and Households- what is the relationship between the family and wider society? How has the family structure changed over time due to factors such as patterns in marriage, divorce and childbearing age? How has the status of children in the family changed?
  • Beliefs in Society- What is the relationship between ideology, science and religion in society? How has the significance of religion and religiosity fluctuated in society over time?
  • Crime and Deviance- How is crime distributed through society and why? How has globalisation impacted crime? How can crime control, prevention and punishment be implemented effectively in society?

Support for learning

Entry Requirement

Level 5 or above in English Literature and/or English Language and any other predominantly written subject such as History, RE or Sociology

Careers in Sociology

Specific Sociology Careers:

  • Advice worker
  • Community development worker
  • Further education teacher
  • Lecturer
  • Police Officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Social Researcher
  • Policy officer
  • Youth Worker

More general careers linked to Sociology:

  • Probation officer
  • Civil service administrator
  • Charity officer
  • Family support worker
  • Life coach
  • Journalist
  • Social worker
  • Special educational needs coordinator
  • Public relations officer