A Level Sociology (Reformed 2015)

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of people in society. We look at the way people are shaped by institutions in Britain and the world. The A level specification focuses on the ideas which explain society and the methods we use to investigate society.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Sociology is a complex subject that requires students to take a critical look at society and to be able to evaluate debates about the nature of society and its policy. Students need to have very good literacy skills. Sociology has an extensive vocabulary, and the examinations involve extended writing. Additionally, students need to be aware of the world around them, and to have a questioning approach. There are many debates in sociology, and students who are interested in ideas will enjoy this subject. Sociology also gives an insight into social research.

Sociology combines particularly well with English, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Communication Studies, Media, Government and Politics, Law and Theology/Religious Studies, but can combine equally well with science subjects. In terms of careers, sociology leads to many possibilities including academic research, market research, social policy planning, teaching, social work, media, and journalism.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

The approach taken in AS Sociology will be to help students develop their skills of analysis and evaluation whilst building up the necessary theoretical knowledge. In keeping with all other subjects at MPW, students will sit weekly Timed Assignments and this will enable to revise what
they have learnt and text their understanding. It is essential that students read ahead and this will make their lessons even more productive.

AS Specification Number
AQA 7191

 

Paper 1:
50% of AS level. 1 hour 30 mins, 60 marks
Education with methods in context
Education: short answer and extended writing - 40 marks
Methods in context: extended writing - 20 marks

Paper 2:
50% of AS level. 1 hour 30 mins, 60 marks
Research methods and topics in sociology
Section A: short answer and extended writing – 20 marks
Section B: short answer and extended writing – 40 marks

Section A topics: Research methods
Section B topics: one topic will be chosen from:
• Culture and Identity,
• Families and Households
• Health
• Work, Poverty and Welfare

Suggested reading list

As this is a new course, the books have not yet been published. The A2 book referred to below will be republished to meet the requirements of the new specification. In its current format, it has been a very comprehensive resource. Nonetheless, it is advisable to wait for the tutor’s advice on which textbooks will be required.

AuthorTitle
Rob Webb et al. A2 Level Sociology: The Complete Course for the AQA Specification (Paperback)
Chapman  AS/A level Sociology Essential Word Dictionary 

 

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

Sessions will be centered on the needs of the students. However, although notes and other written materials will be given to students, students are expected to make notes to reinforce the learning in the lesson. Students will also be expected to read ahead as this course has a heavy workload. Tutoring will emphasize the skills necessary to be successful in the exam, focusing on essay writing skills and strategies for approaching data response questions. Students will be required to produce regular homework and one timed assignment each week. These form an integral part of the teaching strategy in order to assess the extent to which teaching objectives have been achieved. Students will be expected to read any written feedback given, and most importantly, to act upon it.

A level Specification Number
AQA 7192

 

Paper 1:
33.3% of final qualification. 2 hours 80 marks
Education with theory and methods
Education: short answer and extended writing - 50 marks
Methods in context: extended writing - 20 marks
Theory and Methods: extended writing – 10 marks

Paper 2:
33.3% of final qualification. 2 hours 80 marks
Topics in Sociology
Section A: extended writing – 40 marks
Section B: extended writing – 40 marks

Section A topics: one topic will be chosen from:
• Beliefs in society,
• Families and Households,
• Health,
• Work, Poverty and Welfare

Section B topics: one topic will be chosen from:
• Culture and Identity,
• Global Development,
• The Media
• Stratification and Differentiation

Paper 3:
33.3% of final qualification. 2 hours 80 marks
Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
Crime and Deviance: short answer and extended writing - 50 marks
Theory and Methods: extended writing – 30 marks

Suggested reading list

As this is a new course, the books have not yet been published. The A2 book referred to below will be republished to meet the requirements of the new specification. In its current format, it has been a very comprehensive resource. Nonetheless, it is advisable to wait for the tutor’s advice on which textbooks will be required.

AuthorTitle
Rob Webb et al. A2 Level Sociology: The Complete Course for the AQA Specification (Paperback)
Chapman  AS/A level Sociology Essential Word Dictionary 

For full specification details, consult the exam board’s website on www.aqa.org.uk

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.