A Level Sociology

Examining Board: AQA
Next Examination Period: May / June 2020
Exam Specification Code: 7192
Coursework Element: None
Practical Element: None
Course Fee Includes: Online course materials and tutor support. Additional materials available at extra cost.
Fast Track Option: Fast Track Sociology A Level

AQA A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations must be taken in a registered UK exam centre. It is recommended students check with UK examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Introduction

Oxford College offers this full ‘A’ level course in Sociology. The Advanced Level consist of three written exam papers which must be taken in one sitting, so it is no longer possible to carry marks forward from one paper to a later exam session. There is no associated coursework with the Advanced Level award.

The course aims to give you some fundamental and lasting insights into how human societies are constructed, and how they influence our beliefs and daily lives. Sociology is about developing a critical understanding of society, and through this understanding, providing a basis for highlighting and explaining social problems. As well as learning about how society influences individual lives, you will also learn how to express yourself coherently, how to challenge and evaluate information presented to you, and how scientific information is produced.

Due to the changes in the contemporary world, modern sociology is a dynamic, ever changing subject with new information and studies constantly confirming or challenging existing theories and producing new ones. The subject matter of sociology is uniquely around and within you, it is essential that you are curious about the society processes in all settings from the cradle to the grave, from peer groups to institutions like schools, and within the class system. This course will help you observe the world in a more analytical manner, to understand and question why things are the way they are, and to consider what can be done to change the more negative aspects of our society.

The emphasis is on the development of critical and reflective thinking whilst fostering a respect for social diversity. It aims to encourage you to develop awareness of the importance of social structure, actions and issues within the contemporary world. Included in each topic as integral elements are sociological theories, perspectives, and methods, plus the design of the research used to obtain the data under consideration, including its strengths and weaknesses.

There is no requirement to have studied sociology previously, although there is a smooth transition from GCSE Sociology for those who have studied at this lower level. A pass at A-C GCSE in English and Mathematics is desirable, but no formal qualifications are required, although those who find reading and understanding broadsheet newspapers difficult will find the course more challenging.

sociology A Level

A Level Sociology Entry Requirements

Although the A Level Sociology programmes build on the course content of GCSE, it is not necessary to have this qualification before undertaking an A-Level. However, in order to meet the demands of the course, it is recommended that candidates have literacy and communication skills equivalent to C or higher at GCSE. Please note that full tutor support is still provided throughout your course duration.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

A Level Sociology Course Duration

2 years.

Study Hours Required

Approximately 350 hours.

Awarding Body

AQA

AQA A Levels are available for study anywhere in the world. Examinations must be taken in a registered UK exam centre. It is recommended students check with UK examining centres that the chosen exam is available.

Examination Information

Students are required to arrange and pay for their A Level Sociology examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.

All examinations are held during the May / June exam period of every year.

A Level Sociology Course Content

A Level Sociology Unit 1: Introduction to Sociology and Education

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to sociology.
  • Key introductory ideas.
  • Education, socialisation and citizenship.
  • Processes and relationships in education.
  • Theoretical perspectives on education.
  • Differential achievement.
  • Education policies.
  • Researching education

A Level Sociology Unit 2: Research Methods and Theory in Context

Topics covered include:

  • Sociological research methods.
  • Topic selection.
  • Practical issues.
  • Hypotheses.
  • Types of data.
  • Evaluating research.
  • Bias and ethics.
  • Gathering data.
  • Social survey.
  • Participant observation.
  • Experiments.
  • Official statistics.
  • Other types of data.

A Level Sociology Unit 3: Culture and Identity (Exam Option 1)

Topics covered include:

  • Different cultural perspectives.
  • Types of identity.
  • The socialisation process.
  • Agencies of social control.
  • Perspectives on identity.
  • Labelling.
  • Theoretical summary of identity.
  • Leisure, consumption and identity.
  • Theoretical summary of identity.

A Level Sociology Unit 4: Families and Households (Exam Option 1)

Topics covered include:

  • Definitions of family and households.
  • Perspectives on the family.
  • Types of family structure.
  • Ethnic difference in family types.
  • Regional variations.
  • Families of choice.
  • Decline in death and infant mortality rates and the ageing population.
  • Emigration and immigration.
  • Marriage, divorce and cohabitation.
  • Lone parents.
  • Historical changes in childhood and childhood as a social construct.
  • Historical changes in childhood.
  • Inequalities in domestic labour.
  • Power distribution and authority between couples.
  • Cross cultural views.
  • Perspectives on family and social policy.

A Level Sociology Unit 5: Health (exam option 1)

Topics covered include:

  • Social construction of the body and health, illness, and disease.
  • Disability.
  • Models of health.
  • The role of medicine and health professionals.
  • Historical improvements.
  • Medicine and social control.
  • Contemporary changes in health and health care.
  • Inequalities in health.
  • Perspectives on mental illness.
  • Researching health.

A Level Sociology Unit 6: Work, Poverty and Welfare (Exam Option 1)

Topics covered include:

  • Defining poverty wealth and income.
  • Measurements of poverty, wealth and income.
  • Distribution of resources.
  • Theories of poverty.
  • Theoretical approaches to welfare.
  • Public and private welfare provision.
  • Voluntary and informal provision.
  • Issues and problems.
  • Responses to poverty.

A Level Sociology Unit 7: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (Compulsory)

Topics covered include:

  • Crime, social order and control.
  • Social distribution of crime.
  • Globalisation and crime.
  • Crime control, prevention and punishment, victims and the criminal justice system.

A Level Sociology Unit 8: The Media (Exam Option 2)

Topics covered include:

  • The new media.
  • Ownership and control of the media.
  • The media and globalisation and popular culture.
  • Media representations.
  • Media and audiences.

A Level Sociology Unit 9: Stratification and Differentiation (Exam Option 2)

Topics covered include:

  • Stratification and differentiation by social class, gender, ethnicity and age.
  • Dimensions of inequality.
  • Defining and measuring social class.
  • Structures of inequality: change and its effects.
  • Social mobility.

Assessment

The course is assessed via written exams. However, assignments are included at the end of each unit to assess your progress and provide feedback. The following information contains details of all the exams for AQA ‘A’ level. There are compulsory elements to the A level award and the examined components comprise three papers, two of which are mandatory and an optional topic which forms part of Paper 2 assessment.

A Level Sociology Paper 1: Education with Methods in Context

2 hour written exam

Compulsory content assessed

33.3% of A level

80 marks

Questions:

Education: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks

Methods in Context: extended writing, 20 marks

Theory and methods extended writing, ten marks

A Level Sociology Paper 2: Topics in Sociology

2 hour written exam

Section A: one from option 1

Section B: one from option 2 (please note that the college offer stratification and differentiation and the media as choices for option2; we do not offer beliefs in society or global development as unit options)

33.3% of AS level

80 marks
Questions:

Section A: extended writing, 40 marks

Section B: extended writing, 40 marks

A Level Sociology Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

2 hour written exam

33.3% of A level

80 marks

Questions:

Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks

Theory and methods: extended writing, 30 marks

As you progress through the course, you will be asked to complete assignments, which must be sent to your tutor for marking. The assignments in the course are designed to help you become familiar with the types of questions you will encounter in the exam.

Progression

Our A Level Sociology programmes are eligible for UCAS points, making them a great choice for students aiming to progress to University. UCAS points are awarded according to the grade earned, please see below for details.

A levels are also widely recognised by employers and are useful for students looking to progress their careers or meet requirements for promotion.

UCAS Points Table

A* = 56
A = 48
B = 40
C = 32
D = 24
E = 16

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