A Level Sociology

Analyse society and explore how and why it works in the way it does. This course will enable you to analyse how opportunities and behaviour are shaped by gender, race, social class, age and value and belief systems.

Why St Mary’s

There has never been a better time to study contemporary UK society, in terms of developing critical, reflective thinking skills with respect for social diversity.

Sociologists seek answers to important questions. Why do some groups underachieve in our education system? Why are black people more likely to be stopped and searched? To what extent does our social class background affect our life chances?

Supported by inspiring teachers, you will be encouraged to develop your own sociological awareness, gaining a deeper understanding of how social structures shape our world and the way people experience it.

You will learn how to apply sociological research methods to societal issues, and there will be plenty of opportunity for debate and discussion.

Course overview

This A Level will enable you 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.

You will study two core themes

  • Socialisation, culture and identity
  • Social differentiation, power and stratification

Plus the following topics: 

  • UK education system
  • Crime and deviance
  • Theory and methods

*One of the following:

  • Culture and identity
  • Families and households
  • Health
  • Work, poverty and welfare

*One of the following:

  • Beliefs in society
  • Global development
  • The media
  • Stratification and differentiation

*Topics will be selected by the teacher


This A Level is assessed via three written examinations:

  • Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods
  • Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
  • Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
At a glance
  • Syllabus: OCR
  • Three written examinations
  • Contemporary UK focus
  • Broad topic range
  • Methodology and research

Entry requirements

GCSE grades (or equivalent)

  • Subject 1: English Language: 6+ (CEFR B2.2)
You will enjoy this course if you...
  • Are interested in people and behaviours
  • Enjoy debate and critical thinking
  • Have an interest in topical issues
  • Want to develop new research skills
  • Enjoy writing essays

Sociology is a unique academic approach that provides the tools we need to understand ourselves better.

By exploring how society influences the way we think, feel, and act, Sociologists are able to provide vital understanding, that can inform decisions, influence change and shape a better path for the future.

Sociology opens up a whole world of opportunities for the future and is widely-valued by employers and universities alike. Studying Sociology allows students to develop and become confident in vital skills such as analytical skills, including data analysis and application of statistical processes, communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving and writing skills.

Sociology is an excellent starting point for any social science degree, such as Economics, Psychology, Politics, Criminology or Philosophy. A degree in Sociology develops very transferable skills and leads to many career options including teaching, advertising, research, marketing and business.

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