Sociology KS5

Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)


Sociology is all about human social behaviour. It looks at how society works and how the various parts of society relate to each other. Themes that run through the A Level course are culture, identity, power, social class, gender, race & ethnicity.  

At A Level, candidates studying this specification will acquire knowledge of contemporary social processes and social changes. You will study Education, Family and Research Methods.
Candidates will be encouraged to develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world. Candidates will also study the changing role of religion in our society and Crime and Deviance.


Unit 1: Education with Sociological Theory & Methods

2 hour exam 33.3% of A Level


Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:

  • The role and functions of the education system, including its relationship to the economy and to class structure differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society relationships and processes within schools,
  • with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil identities and subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning the significance of educational policies, including policies of selection, marketisation and privatisation,
  • policies to achieve greater equality of opportunity or outcome, for an understanding of the structure, role, impact and experience of and access to education;
  • the impact of globalisation on educational policy

Theory and Methods

Students must examine the following areas:

  • quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design
  • sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents and official statistics
  • the distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data the relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’
  • the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories the concepts of modernity and post-modernity in relation to sociological theory
  • the nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific the relationship between theory and methods debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom the relationship between Sociology and social policy.


 Unit 2: Families and Households and Beliefs in Society 2 hour exam 33.3% of A Level

Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:

  • The relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with particular reference to the economy and to state policies
  • changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures
  • gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships within the family in contemporary society
  • the nature of childhood, and changes in the status of children in the family and society
  • demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900: birth rates, death rates, family size, life expectancy, ageing population, and migration and globalisation.


Unit 3 Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

2 hour exam 33.3% of A Level 


Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:

  • crime, deviance, social order and social control
  • the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime
  • globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes
  • crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies.