Curriculum Intent

A level Sociology provides students with an in-depth understanding and respect for the social world around them and the ability to recognise the environmental factors affecting the behaviour of individuals groups and ultimately, society as a whole. 

Through the study of Sociology as an evidence-based approach to understanding social phenomena, our students will develop the courage and resilience to appreciate the causes, impact and subsequent consequences of societal change on the structure of social institutions such as the family, education, religion and crime.  

Furthermore, our students will develop a deeper understanding of individuals and specific groups life chances based on key social variables such as class, age, gender and ethnicity (CAGE) that exist in our society.  

Through the study of Sociology, our students will develop research skills to scientifically investigate society, critically assess evidence and build the courage to consider solutions to today’s societal issues. As students gain a wider knowledge of society, we aim for them to build on British values such as respect and tolerance for diversity in society which are an integral part of the culture here at Blenheim. 

Students will develop: 

  • Their resilience for developing and exploring deep knowledge of sociological theory and evidence-based research.
  • The skills to be an effective social scientist, through the the study of research methods. 
  • The ability to critically assess reasons for and impacts of inequality in education families and crime. 
  • An understanding of the challenges faced by social groups in society to develop their respect and tolerance for du ease groups in society. 
  • An understating of the causes and effects of social behaviours. 


  • Students have full access to a knowledge rich Sociology curriculum which is differentiated to meet learning needs and styles. 
  • Curriculum plans and glossaries are provided to all students to help them identify and follow key syllabus content and re-call the meaning of subject specific vocabulary. 
  • Formative and summative assessments provide opportunities for retrieval to embed knowledge, increasing the chance of information recall. 
  • Variety of teaching approaches so that students are engaged in the content of the curriculum. 


  • By the end of Key Stage 5 students will demonstrate a complex understanding of sociological theories for analysing society such as conflict theory (Marxism, feminism), functionalism, interpretivism and research methods.  
  • They will be able to analyse and evaluate theories of, and approaches to, the study of behaviour in society,  
  • Students will be taught how to communicate their ideas effectively, learning exam techniques which will enable them to maximise their outcomes. They will be introduced to sociological terminology and vocabulary and taught how to develop their written responses to meet the expectations of the syllabus and its examinations. 
  • Students should be able to identify and discuss different sociological perspectives and be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to the topic areas covered 
  • They should evaluate ideas presented to them by identifying links and evidencing their ideas creating relevant, well-structured, and evidentially supported evaluations. 
  • They should also be able to show their skills at sociological research and be able to apply these skills to potential research scenarios successfully.
  • Students should be inspired to go to further study of the social sciences at university


  • Specialist teaching classrooms
  • A wide range of reading material
  • Past issues of Sociology Review

A level Sociology

Course details

The course is designed to enable students to:

  • Understand how society is currently functioning and how it is changing.
  • Learn new concepts and theories that help you gain a deeper understanding of social life.
  • Test and evaluate the way Sociologists gather their data.
  • Be able to understand you own identity, roles and responsibilities within society.
  • Continue to be interested in social issues for the rest of their life.

Students study the following content:

  • Education – different types of schools, how they are run, who underachieves and why, how politics affects schools, students and teachers.
  • Families and households – different types of family, how the family structure is changing and why this is, what impact this is having on individuals and society, what ‘family life’ is like for women, men and children.
  • Beliefs in society - ideology, science and religion, including both Christian and non-Christian religious traditions the relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice
  • Crime and Deviance – different explanations of why people commit crimes, patterns of gender, ethnicity and class in crime, how crime is presented in the media, social forms of control, prevention and punishment measures, the criminal justice system.
  • Theory – consensus, conflict, structural, social action, interpretivist, feminist and postmodernist theories, questions about the nature of Sociology: is it a science? Should it influence the law? Can it be value-free?
  • Methods – How sociologists gather their data: which methods and samples they use and how they choose which of these is best.
Link to course specification


Exam (2 hrs)

Education with methods in context

33.3% of the


Exam (2 hrs)

Families and households and beliefs in society

33.3% of the


Exam (2 hrs)

Crime and deviance with theory and methods

33.3% of the


Enrichment opportunities

Student learning is enhanced by making use of the recommendation list of powerful documentaries and films, and also by keeping up to date with current affairs and news programmes. Students are encouraged to subscribe to ‘Sociology Review’, a quarterly magazine full of cutting-edge sociological research. The department also organise trips, for example to Criminology Conferences, and has had speakers such as magistrates and feminists, visit the school.

Student quotes

“Sociology was worth studying because it made me more aware of the way society acts and why people believe what they believe. I particularly liked exploring gender and ethnic identities and how status can be used to marginalise others. Sociology has broadened my view by making me question things I see and hear in everyday life. It has also introduced me to many interesting theories and views that I plan on exploring further at university.” 


The skills and independence students develop highly valued in both the workplace and higher education. Popular career paths for sociology students include teaching, police, social work, youth work, probation work, marketing, journalism, human resources management and counselling. Nurses and other health professionals often study Sociology as part of their training

Useful Links



Silver School Mental Health Award