Sociology is the study of society and the institutions that make up society. By studying Sociology, you will answer questions such as “does the education system favour girls over boys?”, “how has media changed society?” and “to what extent is the criminal justice system, and other institutions, institutionally racist?”. By studying Sociology, we hope our students become tolerant individuals with a critical eye.


The Sociology curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that students build on prior knowledge at KS4 and frequently revisit new knowledge through their two years of study. During the first year of study you will become familiar with key sociological perspectives including Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism. You will apply your knowledge of these theories to examine the role of the education system and families and households. You will also explore how sociologists conduct research. During the second year of study you will revisit key sociological theories and apply them to the media and criminal justice system. You will also begin to explore key debates in sociology such as ‘Is Sociology a Science?’ and ‘Does society control our behaviour, or we do have a choice in our actions?’

Why study Sociology?

Sociology is a complex subject that tackles many abstract and challenging concepts to give you a critical insight into the world we live in today. It develops your critical thinking and extended writing skills which are useful for a range of further areas.  Sociology is an extremely broad subject that would offer an advantage to any further area of education/employment you are interested in.

What you will study?

During the course you will focus on key institutions that make up society including the education system, families and households, the media and the criminal justice system. You will explore the role and function of these systems from different sociological perspectives. You will evaluate the extent to which they help to maintain the smooth running of society.  Sociology is an entirely externally assessed qualification. Please see below for the breakdown of AQA exam papers:

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods (33%)

Questions 1 -4: Education

  • Q1: 4 marks
  • Q2: 6 marks
  • Q3: 10 marks
  • Q4: 30 marks

Question 5: Methods in Context

  • Q5: 20 marks

Question 6: Theory and Methods

  • Q6: 10 marks


Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (33%)

Topic A2: Families and Households

  • Q4: 10 marks
  • Q5: 10 marks
  • Q6: 20 marks

Topic B3: The Media

  • Q19: 10 marks
  • Q20: 10 marks
  • Q21: 20 marks


Paper 3- Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (33%)

Q1-4: Crime and Deviance

  • Q1: 4 marks
  • Q2: 6 marks
  • Q3: 10 marks
  • Q4: 30 marks

Q5-6: Theory and Methods

  • Q5: 10 marks
  • Q6: 20 marks

University degrees that require or often prefer Sociology

The study of Sociology at this level can lead to a range of further studies. Many Sociology students go on to take degrees in Sociology or a related field such as Anthropology, Criminology, Law, Politics, Psychology or Education. It is also seen as useful for any essay-based subjects such as English, History and Media.


Possible careers

Studying Sociology can be useful in a range of different career routes including: journalism, law, PR, marketing, social research, politics, charity (NGO), development work, teaching, social work and nursing.


Entry requirements

Minimum grade 6 in GCSE English Language and a Humanities subject or grade 6 in GCSE Sociology.