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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School


The Department

Curriculum Leader: Miss S Taylor 

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 8192


What will be studied?

Sociology helps students develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society, and how sociologist’s study and understand its structures, processes and issues. Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students' lives. It allows them to think about the world they live in and makes them question why things are the way they are. What can we do to make changes?

Unit 1: The sociology of families and education. This Unit focuses on what society is and how it shapes us within the institutions of the family and education. Students will be given the opportunity to study social processes and issues relevant to modern social life. Students will also study theories relevant to the topic areas.


Unit 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification.  Students will develop their analytical, assimilation and communication skills by comparing and contrasting sociological perspectives. They will study the criminal justice system and debate how power is used and abused in the police and courts.

Learning Methods

Sociology is studied through a variety of methods: group work, individual presentation, debates and discussions, written assignments and documentaries are just a few examples. The department has lots of resources to make the subject interesting and exciting. Most lessons allow students to apply to real life examples and therefore provides them to really think about the society they live in. The department runs a series of clubs and activities to enliven the subject; support is provided in these sessions to ensure students feel confident in their final examinations.

How is the course assessed?

Each unit makes up 50% of the total mark.  There are 2 examinations which will take place in the May/June of Year 11. Each exam lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Internal tests and mock exams will be carried out in order to monitor students’ progress and provide feedback on their attainment and exam technique.

What support is needed?

  • Interventions
  • Course work catch up
  • Homework club
  • Mentor buddy

What texts are recommended?

GCSE Sociology: Collins

What websites are recommended?

BBC news
Collins revision sites
AQA for past papers and additional support

What equipment is needed?

A pen, highlighter, glue and pencil are essential at all times.

A Level

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 7191, 7192

Course Content:

In the first year, the following topics are studied:

Education with Theory and Methods: In this unit we study the institution of Education and how it shapes the lives of young people in the UK. We explore the role of education through sociological studies and methods.

Culture and Identity: In this unit we study different cultures and the influence identity has on our everyday lives. We study the socialisation process and examine the different agents of socialisation in depth (media, religion, family and peer groups).

In the second year (Year 13) the following topics are studied:

Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods: Students will study this compulsory unit which will look at how crimes are defined, why they are committed and who commits them.  Deviance and cultural notions of what makes people deviant will also be explored.

The media: students will study this topic in great detail. Who owns the media and how much influence does this have on our day to day lives? We study media representation of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class. Students will also study theoretical aspects of the media and will be expected to make links to other areas of the specification.


An awareness of current social issues and wider reading are necessary for optimum learning. It is essential to conduct independent research to develop sociological knowledge. Lessons include formal teaching and note-taking as well as group work and Independent activities. Students will be expected to work in pairs to produce assignments and presentations, as well as complete essay writing and sociological debates. Essay questions are featured in all exams. There are three 2 hour exams at the end of the two year course. All exams consist of a mixture of short mark and long mark questions, from 10 mark to 30 mark questions.

Why Sociology at St Albans Girls’ School?:

Staff have excellent knowledge of the subject and specification. Mrs Khanum is a regular contributor to the Sociology Review Journal; having had 5 articles published on issues that students can explore and discuss in the classroom. She has undertaken an MSc in Criminology and her work in this area is used as part of our course.  She is also an examiner for AQA with excellent knowledge on what the examiner wants to see in scripts. The department have recently attended sociological conferences which have benefited the learning of students by allowing them to explore key issues in more detail.

Expectations of students:

Students should have good reasoning skills, a willingness to consider a range of views objectively, and the ability to think clearly about different kinds of information and how to interpret this information. Students need to have a genuine interest in controversial social issues and be willing to read widely.

What website are recommended?

What equipment is needed?

Glue, pen, pencil, mini note book (optional).

Career Paths:

A Level Sociology develops social awareness and critical thinking, it combines well with most A Level courses. A Level Sociology is universally accepted as an entry qualification for higher education courses and is an asset in a large number of employment areas where social understanding and analytical skills are important. Some of the career choices include marketing, teaching, social work, journalism and working as part of the criminal justice system.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Trust Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134