Studying sociology offers insights into social and cultural issues, leading students to question why society has developed the way it has. Sociology helps with the development of a multi-perspective and critical approach to understanding issues and culture, including: identity, religion, crime, families, and social power. 

Course Content

A-level Sociology lasts two years, with exams at the end of the second year. 

First year of A-level: 

  • Education 
  • Research Methods 
  • Methods in Context
  • Families and Households 

Second year of A-level:

  • Crime and Deviance
  • Beliefs in Society 
  • Theory and Methods 

Course Information

The exam board: AQA Sociology

The units on offer:

Education and Research Methods: Students will learn about how the education system works and the impact it has on different social class and ethnic groups. It will also consider the impact that gender has on both attainment and subject choice. Throughout, students will consider the different research methods that have been used to study these aspects of education and explore different sociological views on the impact that education has on both society and the individual.  

Families and Households and Beliefs in Society: Students will learn about the different types of families and households that exist today and consider the impact that they have on both individuals and society today. They will move onto considering a range of beliefs that are used in society to help us construct our identity and shape our behaviour. There will be a particular focus on religious beliefs. Sociological theory will be an integral part of both topics.  

Crime and Deviance: Students will learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system and the impact it has on individuals within society. They will also explore a range of possible theories that might help to explain both criminal and deviant behaviour, as well as solutions to reduce crime. The research methods used by sociologists will be considered, and as in the other two papers, sociological theory will be a theme that runs through the whole topic. 

How the course is assessed: Three exam papers, all are two hours and they are worth 80 marks each.

Extra-curricular opportunities attached to this course: Old Bailey Central Criminal Court, Criminology conference led by eminent sociologists and psychologists, revision seminars run by Tutor2U at Westfield, talks from journalists and politicians relating to sociological issues eg. Seven Up BBC Documentary, visit the Office of National Statistics, experience days allowing students to ‘be a sociologist for a day’ 

Where can sociology take you?

Major jobs include careers in human services administration, counselling, journalism, public office, law enforcement, probation work, social work or education. A sociology degree is also a great starting point for an advanced degree in sociology, psychology, or public research.

Why study sociology at Ruislip High School Sixth Form?
You will take away from Sociology a completely different way of thinking about the world and you will begin to question things you have always taken for granted. You will be taught by very experienced specialist sociologists, who have been examiners for AQA (the exam board you will take) for many years, and who have an impressive track record of results. 

Students are passionate about the subject and many go on to study sociology and or criminology at university. Students will have the opportunity to attend a variety of courses and conferences during their two years on this course. We use a wide variety of teaching methods – lectures, discussions, student presentations, role-play, video material and study packs. You will study an A level subject that is interesting and relevant to your life.