A Level Sociology

Subject: Sociology

Exam Syllabus: AQA

Course leader: Ms McGirr

Welcome to Sociology at APS!

Congratulations on choosing Sociology A level. It will give you the chance to explore modern British society and find out how it’s organised and why it offers different people very different experiences. We hope that you’ll take an interest in current affairs and find out about contemporary issues around the topics that you’ll be studying. At different points in the course you might want to know about the latest crime or divorce statistics, the reasons why people might be following more extreme versions of religion or the arguments about different types of school. You’ll be supported in your work by Mr Rees and Ms McGirr. We’ll guide your learning and assess your work regularly to monitor your progress. See you in September…

Ms McGirr & Mr Rees


  1. Use the links below to understand more about what Sociology is and how sociologists work
  2. Start a media file by collecting from either newspapers or the internet 3 articles over the summer holiday on each of the following topics: The family, Gender and Education.
  3. Use research to evaluate the statements on the attached sheet and to reach a conclusion about whether the statements made are true or not.

An extension task 

The Riots of 2011

In the summer of 2011, England experienced the worst riots for a generation, with violent protests against police, destruction of neighbourhoods and large-scale looting.  Why did this happen?  In Sociology we try to explain why these riots happened using sociological ideas.

One explanation uses right-wing ideas about Broken Britain - a country full of feral youths with a bad upbringing and  weak moral values. They have been spoiled by the welfare state and the lack of a stable two parent family.

A second explanation uses left-wing ideas about social exclusion - young people who no longer feel they have a stake in society and are alienated by ill treatment at the hands of the police.

A third explanation looks at the issue of consumerism and the importance in our society of possessing the right brands and property. A fourth explanation argues that the riots were about the position of black young people in Britain.

Use the websites below to try to work out why you think these riots happened. Which theories do you find the most convincing? Why?

To discover more about the subject at a higher level:

  • Sociology: A Very Short Introduction.  This short book provides a manageable introduction to the subject.

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