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Sociology is only taught at A-level at St Mary’s. 

The Sociology curriculum seeks to develop students’ growing interest in the world around them providing them with a broad and balanced outlook on both historical and current events. It offers an engaging and effective introduction to Sociology that should spark curiosity about the world and engender a culture of reflection, empathy and an enquiring mind no matter the starting point of individual students.

The curriculum will:

1. Build an understanding of the overarching key areas associated with social change and the functions of society, in particular the part class, gender, ethnicity and age play in shaping society and the inequalities within in.

2. Develop an understanding of the key theoretical approaches: Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Interactionism, Modernism and Post-Modernism and apply them to all areas of the curriculum.

3. Develop and improve analytical skills, critical thinking and evaluative approaches. Draw upon their understanding of sociological theories and methods of research. 

Key Stage 5 

The Sociology syllabus offers an introduction to social and cultural issues, and encourages you to develop a critical approach to issues around culture, identity, religion, crime, health, families, and social power.


  • In Year 1 you will learn the foundations of sociological research – theoretical perspectives (including Marxism and Feminism) and how these approaches analyse, for example, power in society. You will also gain an understanding of the methodological approaches sociologists take when analysing key social issues such as the impact of deprivation and the role socialisation plays in early childhood. The main topic covered in year one is Education in Society, where students will analyse the impact of government policies since the 1930s onwards, the role material and cultural deprivation play and how gender and ethnicity can affect educational achievement. In the summer term, students will study Families and Households, exploring how the nuclear family has been replaced by diversity; gender roles and domestic chores within the household; and how government policies, such as tax breaks and the divorce reform act, have altered family structure.


  • In Year 2 students will study Crime and Deviance, applying their knowledge of theoretical approaches to exploring why crime is committed, who is more likely to be a victim and whether crime prevention or punishment is a better route to reducing crime levels. Alongside this, the impact of globalisation will be considered as we analyse how crimes have changed due to the interconnectedness brought about by modern travel and the impact of the Internet. Students will also study The Media, exploring how media representation of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, age and disability affect the public’s perception of these groups. They will also explore media ownership and its links to politics and the impact new media, such as social media, has had on the relationship between producer and audience. Students will also tackle the question as to what extent Sociology can be considered a science and whether or not it should have an impact on government social policies.


There are three examinations taken at the end of Year 2.  Each exam is two hours long and is worth one third of your A level grade.

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

  • 2 hour written exam
  • 80 marks
  • 33.3% of A-level
  • Education (50 marks)
  • Methods in Context (20 marks)
  • Theory and Methods (10 marks)
  • 2 hour written exam
  • 80 marks
  • 33.3% of A-level
  • Extended writing (40 marks) Families & Households
  • Extended writing (40 marks) The Media
  • 2 hour written exam
  • 80 marks
  • 33.3% of A-level
  • Crime and Deviance (50 marks)
  • Theory and Methods (30 marks)

Exam Board: AQA

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