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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: AQA

Why study Sociology?

Have you ever wondered about the causes behind the important issues in our society? Sociology seeks to answer these questions by studying human social relationships and institutions within society. Sociology explores important contemporary issues in society such as, why do gender differences exist in educational achievement? Which social groups commit the most crime and why? Sociologists are typically motivated to develop theories that better our understanding of society, its institutions, individuals and social groups. Through the use of the sociological imagination students are invited to scrutinise theories and assess their relevance. Students will gain a greater understanding of factors and processes taking place around them that have a direct impact on them and the society in which they live. In doing this, Sociology aims to question ‘taken for granted’ assumptions and ‘commonsense’ views about society.

Sociology requires you to be critical and open-minded, taking into account various different perspectives, for instance Marxism and Labelling theory. The teaching of Sociology is innovative, with a range of methods being employed, ranging from, independent research activities, group work, classroom discussion, presentations and regular exam style assessments that build on essay writing skills.

What can it lead to?

Sociology students at St Charles go on to a diverse range of degree courses and careers. Studying Sociology will allow you to gain a wide range of valuable skills that can be applied to a variety of careers. Sociology will give you a competitive edge in the job market, it will provide you with a strong academic background and make you more socially adept.

Students who study Sociology are not limited to but can work in the following areas; sociologists can help businesses understand consumer culture in order to inspire tomorrow’s new product.  They can work in public relations which involves maintaining a favourable public image of a company or an organisation.  Other professions include; journalism, police force, social work, teaching, health services – the list is endless.

There is also a wide variety of opportunities in all aspects of social research, such as youth services, criminal justice system, education etc…

How is the course organised?

Board: AQA

A-Level Qualification:

Education/Theory and Methods: 33.3% of A-Level 2 hour exam.

Crime and Deviance/Theory and Methods: 33.3% of

A-Level 2 hour exam.

Families and Household/Beliefs in Society: 33.3% of

A-Level 2 hour exam.


Education/Methods in context: 50% of AS 1 hour and 30 minutes exam.

Research methods/Families and Households: 50% of AS and 1 hour and 30 minute exam. 

How is the course assessed?

Sociology is 100% exam assessed, NO coursework.  In order to prepare students for their end of year examinations, they will complete exam style questions at the end of each topic, under timed conditions.  You will receive thorough feedback on each piece of assessed work and be invited to attend revision workshops throughout the course of the year to build confidence in subject knowledge, exam and study skills. 

Progress will be tracked and students   are expected to take responsibility and ensure they progress to their best potential.  In the Sociology department, we foster an ethos of ambition and excellence, through encouraging students to aim high and undertake wider reading around the subject from a range of different sources, which are made readily available. 

What do I need to qualify for this course?

6 GCSEs including a grade 4 (C) or above in English language.

We do not require students to have studied any particular subjects to get onto the course however, having good essay writing, analytical and critical thinking skills  are necessary. Sociology also requires a lot of reading and keeping up to date with current affairs and policy changes. 

Students will be required to purchase a textbook for each year of the course which will be available to buy through the college. 

Who are the teachers?

The staff are well qualified and subject specialists, enthusiastic and use a variety of teaching methods to help students engage in their learning and reach their full potential.  All the teachers keep up to date with current Sociological research and regularly attend external seminars; knowledge that is transferred in to the classroom.

Quotes from students:

“I feel honoured to have had a teacher with so much enthusiasm for 2 years……you have inspired me to go into a field which can make a difference in society”

“What a fantastic teacher you are, I never left your class feeling confused as all my questions were answered”

“…you have become an inspiration”

 “Lets just say your continuous enthusiasm, passion and energetic spirit for the subject you teach has motivated me…”

What do students say about the course?

I went from knowing nothing about Sociology to learning about the policies and studies that have influenced society today. Sociology at St Charles has been an amazing experience. I have not been taught to simply pass an exam and because of this I have gained life skills. All my knowledge has been relevant to contemporary society. This enabled me to make connections between what I learn in the class and the real world. The encouragement from my teachers meant that I am able to push myself and achieve the best I possibly can. Sociology has made such an impact that I have chosen to study it at university

During my time at St Charles, Sociology was easily my favorite subject. I had great and supportive teachers that really know how to bring the subject alive with interactive lessons, which helped me to learn better. Not only did I enjoy learning Sociology, but I found that it had useful and direct links to other subjects that I studied. Also, I found that what I was learning was often relevant to real life contemporary situations. The realisation of this has led me to have a better understanding of the societies around the world including the one we live in, and ultimately understand the many factors that contribute to the people we grow into. For this reason, I believe that taking on Sociology is a great decision for anyone regardless of what your career goals are.

Extra Information

Students always achieve well in Sociology, with a good record of high grades.

Some subjects that complement Sociology include Government and Politics, Psychology, Health and Social Care, RE, Media Studies and Business Studies. 

Along with an immensely challenging and exciting discipline, you will be given the opportunity to experience the social world first hand and have guest speaks come in and speak with you:

  • An annual Criminology Conference in central London
  • Revision conferences in London
  • Speakers from different religions who will talk about their beliefs

For more information on Sociology in the UK: