More than once during the course you’re bound to ask yourself the question, “why has society developed like this? With poverty, ignorance, crime and injustice.”

Studying sociology offers insights into social and cultural issues. It helps you develop a multi-perspective and critical approach to understanding issues around culture, identity, religion, crime, families and social power.

What skills will I learn?
A-level Sociology will help you develop a range of skills that will benefit you, whether you decide to go on to further study or the working world, including:

  • the use of evidence to support your arguments
  • how to investigate facts and use deduction
  • critical thinking
  • making reasoned arguments
  • developing opinions and new ideas on societal issues
  • the ability to analyse and better understand societal issues.

Exam Board

How will it fit in with my other subjects?
There’s no limit to the other subjects that you can take alongside sociology. There’s such breadth to the subject that it will complement just about anything. Students who study sociology often also study psychology, English and media studies. But students, who want a career in any of the caring services, or in marketing or business, will find an understanding of sociology useful.

Key themes
1. Socialisation, culture and identity
2. Social differentiation, power and stratification.
Students must show the following skills, and relate them to their sociological knowledge and understanding:

  • collection and recording of evidence
  • interpreting and evaluating evidence
  • presenting evidence and argument.

What will I study?

Compulsory content Option one (Year 1) Option two (Year 2)
Year 1:
  • Education with theory and methods
  • Education
  • Methods in context
  • Theory and methods
Year 2:
  • Crime and deviance with theory and methods
  • Crime and deviance
  • Theory and methods
You will study one of the following options:
  • Culture and identity
  • Families and households
  • Health
  • Work, poverty and welfare
You will study one of the following options:
  • Beliefs in society
  • Global development
  • The media
  • Stratification and differentiation


Possible degree options
According to, the top six degree courses taken by students who have an A-level in sociology are:

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • English studies
  • Business studies
  • Law
  • Teaching

Possible career options
Studying sociology at university can give you a whole host of exciting career options, including:

  • Social work
  • Human resources
  • Advertising
  • Policing
  • Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Teaching

“Sociology examines a wide variety of topics which can be taken forward and applied in a number of different careers. I found the subject of society and work to be really interesting and decided I wanted to pursue an HR related career. My background in sociology has given me transferable skills, particularly with the analysis of information. This helps me understand the requirements of a diverse range of businesses and to be creative in finding solutions for their staffing needs.”
- Alex, Senior Project Manager working for a recruitment solutions provider

“Looking back at my decision to study sociology, I wanted a subject which would allow me some freedom and give me a broad range of careers options. I also wanted to explore a subject which encourages debate and focuses on the study of society and people. Since graduating I’ve been working in market research. The research methods we studied provided a great foundation for understanding different methodologies involved in market research.”
- Charlotte W, Senior Project Manager working in market research.

Core Texts
AQA Sociology book 1

AQA Sociology book 2

Revision book 1

Revision book 2

Recommended Reading
Chavs Owen Jones

The Spirit Level Wilkinson and Pickett

Criminology: The Basics Sandra Walklate

Living Dolls Natasha Walter

Criminology Tim Newburn

Sociology Anthony Giddens

On Liberty Shami Chakrabarti