Aims of the Subject

Sociology is the study of societies and the way in which they shape people’s behaviour, beliefs and identity. Probably the most important thing about sociology is that it enables us to make sense of the rapidly changing world that we live in. Sociology enables us to understand ourselves. The way that we think, behave and feel; indeed our very sense of identity, is socially produced. People often speak of human nature as though deep within us there lays some reservoir of natural impulses that determine the way that we behave. There is, however, no such thing as human nature for the way that we behave. The way that we think, behave and feel is shaped by what sociologists call the process of socialisation. This provides us with language, gives us our values and beliefs, establishes our identity and so turns us into members of society.

This course provides students with the ability to:

  • acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social issues and structures
  • appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate
  • reflect on their own experience of the social world in which they live

Course Description

Examination Board AQA

The subject has four units of assessment. The two AS units are:

Unit 1: Families and Households
Unit 2: The Sociology of Education with Research Methods

Two further units make up the full Advanced level award:

Unit 3: Beliefs in Society
Unit 4: Crime and Deviance