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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School



The Department

Curriculum Leader: Mrs H Khanum

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 8192

What support is needed?

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


What will be studied?

Sociology helps students develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society, and how sociologists study and understand it’s structures, processes and issues. Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students’ lives.

Unit 1: Education, Families and Social theory. 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: Crime and Deviance, Social Stratification and Social Theory. All of these units will be studied. Each unit is designed to broaden student understanding of how power is distributed within our society. They will study the criminal justice system and debate how power is used and abused in the police and courts. Each topic focuses on the social theories required to analyse the topics and give the students the tools they need to undertake their own research projects.

Learning Methods

Sociology is studied through a variety of methods: film, case studies and documentaries are just a few examples. The department has lots of resources to make the subject interesting and exciting. You can expect to take part in group work, discussions, written assignments and presentations. The department runs a series of clubs and activities to enliven the subject; speakers from a variety of fields attend the school to talk about the subject. For example journalists from national newspapers and the BBC have come into share their experiences with students.

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 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

Entry Requirements: GCSE English Literature or English Language 6.

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 3 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; she has undertaken an MSc on 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 benefits from visits from outside speakers like Peter Tatchell, Kelly Maloney and academics from some of the UK’s leading universities.

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 will combine 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. Sociology is popular at degree level.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134