• A-level sociology

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A-Level Sociology

Background information about studying Sociology

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, but it's status as a science is under scrutiny, often from sociologists themselves.

What can I expect from studying Sociology?


The subject is as difficult as you make it to be really. In Sociology there are a lot of theories that you have to learn and you also have to learn how to apply them and criticise them but apart from just revising the theories, the subject is not that hard. It's a very interesting subject and this makes it a lot easier to learn, especially as you know that you are studying something real - you can apply it to your own experiences which can sometimes make it easier for you to understand. For many this is not a subject available at GCSE level.


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. The AQA specification is very essay heavy. 20 and 24 mark essays are the norm and these have to be done quickly in exams e.g. 20 marks in 20-25 minutes. My exam board no longer does coursework for sociology so we have a January exam instead.

Required Individual Study

You will be required to do extended reading into topics you may have touched slightly in class, and keeping up to date with current affairs and watching/reading the news is always a good idea, the topics you learn about often relate directly to current news affairs.

How is it assessed?


AQA has two exams for both AS and A2 years, one in January and one in the summer. The summer exam generally carries the most weight when it comes to points. Both sets of the exams have source based questions, shorter answers and essay answers.



You may take part in mini studies and take your own statistics and data, but it is unlikely that you will be assessed on this.

Field trips and excursions

Although you could think of many reasons to go on a field trip with sociology, it is a theory based subject and it is much more practical just to study it in a classroom -which does seem a little ironic. You are unlikely to go on many trips, unless they are to lectures.

Where can I go with a Sociology A-Level

Sociology is a good foundation subject as the knowledge you learn can be applied to all aspects of society. Sociology can led to a job in teaching, social work, the police force etc.

User Opinions

Username: LumosNox

What I like about studying this subject: I like that the information we're learning about in class has direct real-world application, often in current news stories. It's also a really good accent subject to others such as Psychology and English Literature, sharing research methods and the different approaches to topics e.g. Marxism, Feminism, Socialism...

What I dislike about studying this subject: Sometimes it can be a bit mentally exhausting trying to learn theorists and the years they said what and keeping arguments for and against concepts like Social Policy is sometimes challenging.


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