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Idsall School

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Sociology is the academic study of human social relationships and institutions.

Sociology’s subject matter is diverse, ranging from education to crime, from the family to the state, from the divisions of ethnicity and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Unifying the study of these diverse subjects of study is sociology’s purpose of understanding how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures.

At Idsall we follow the AQA A Level specification for Sociology which offers an engaging and effective introduction to the subject, focusing on the study of contemporary British society. Through the course we aim to build academic skills in the areas of analysis and critical evaluation. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by higher education (HE) and employers, including independent thinking and research skills. Teaching encourages an awareness and respect for social diversity and highlights the importance of using both social structure and action to explain social issues. Students are encouraged to develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world, which can be achieved by staying up to date with the news and partaking in wider reading of up to date research.

Integral elements of the A Level course include the study of sociological theories, perspectives and methods. As well as this, an awareness of the research design process used to obtain the data under consideration, including the strengths and limitations of various sociological research methods will also be considered. Core themes of the A Level course include the study of socialisation, culture, identity, social differentiation, power and stratification. These elements and themes run throughout the entire course and are taught within each topic area and not as explicit topics on their own.


The A Level sociology course aims to encourage students to:

  • acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social processes and social changes
  • appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate
  • understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research process
  • develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society
  • develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

Here is an overview of the assessment of the A Level course:

Linear Assessment – 3 examinations at the end of 2 years of study (NO coursework element)

EXAM PAPER ONE: The Sociological Study of Education with Sociological Theory and Methods in Context (worth 33.3% of final A-Level grade)

EXAM PAPER TWO: Topics in Sociology; The Sociological study of Families and Households and Beliefs in Society (worth 33.3% of final A-Level grade)

EXAM PAPER THREE: The Sociological Study of Crime and Deviance with Sociological Theory and Methods (worth 33.3% of final A-Level grade)



Year 12

Year 13

Autumn 1

Introduction to Sociology

Families and Households (A-Level Paper 2)


Beliefs in Society (A-Level Paper 2)

Crime & Deviance (A-Level Paper 3)


Autumn 2

Families and Households (A-Level Paper 2)

Sociological Research Methods (A-Level Papers 1 & 3)


Crime & Deviance (A-Level Paper 3)


Spring 1

Education (A-Level Paper 1)


Theory & Methods (A-Level Papers 1 & 3)


Spring 2

Education with Sociological Methods in Context (A-Level Paper 1)

Education with Sociological Methods in Context (A-Level Paper 1)


Summer 1

Education with Sociological Methods in Context (A-Level Paper 1)

Revision in preparation for mock exams

Revision in preparation for A-Level Papers 2 & 3  


Summer 2

Year 12 mock examination

Beliefs in Society (A-Level Paper 2)



A-Level Exams




If you require advice or further information about the Sociology curriculum at Idsall School, then please contact the Head of Sociology, Mrs V McMahon on the following email: