Barack Obama recently said: ‘The world has never been healthier, wealthier or less violent'. Despite this, nearly 1 billion people in the world today live in poverty, over 14 million of whom live within the UK. Do you ever wonder why inequality continues to exist in the world? Have you considered how gender, religion, and ethnic background open or close opportunities in your life? How is social media changing our lives? What fuels our apparent fixation with celebrity? Is it just gossip in a modern form? How does the media influence our behaviour & how is it changing wider society? What factors influence who we are? How does education, family, religion & friends influence the people we become? Do we control society or does society control us? What happens when society breaks down? Sociology is not just about Britain, it also deals with global issues like the environment, politics, migration and ‘globalization’ itself. How do these changes affect people at every level of their life? These are all vital questions. You will not be provided with quick answers but you will discover how to think through these issues for yourself. Students have found that sociology makes them look at the world in new ways and help them better understand the world in the 21st Century.

Awarding Body

Available As

A Level

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What will I study?

We offer two pathways to choose from as part of our A-level Sociology course.  This will enable you to follow the route that covers the issues most important to you.


The two pathways:

Pathway 1: Sociology & Crime

Pathway 2: Sociology & International Development

As you will see from the outlines below, the two pathways are exactly the same in Year 1, with some common units also in Year 2.  However, Year 2 also offers the opportunity for students to focus more on their preferred option. 

Students will do exactly the same assessment, the sole difference being, on one of the exam papers there are optional questions to choose from.  Pathway 1 students will answer the Crime & Deviance essay question, whilst Pathway 2 students will do the International Development question. 

The qualification is A-level Sociology, (it won't specify whether its Crime & Deviance or International Development).

OPTION 1: Sociology & Crime Pathway

Year 1:

  • Socialisation & Culture
  • Youth Cultures
  • Media

Year 2:

  • Social inequality
  • Sociological Research Methods
  • Crime & Deviance
  • Within this Crime & Deviance unit you will explore:

           What is crime?  What is deviant behaviour?  How & why do crime rates in the UK vary based on class, gender, ethnicity & age? 

           How can crime be measured & how accurate is crime data?  Are some groups in society more likely to commit crime than others? 

           How does the media influence crime?  How effective have strategies been to tackle crime?

           How does sociological theory help us explain crime & deviance?


  •  What other A-levels go well with this pathway?
  • Students may wish to consider:
  • A-level Psychology, A-level Law and/or Vocational Criminology.


Option 2: Sociology & International Development

Year 1:

  • Socialisation & Culture
  • Youth Cultures
  • Media

Year 2:

  • Social inequality
  • Sociological Research Methods
  • World Sociology (International Development)


  • Within this World Sociology (International Development) unit you will explore:
  • How helpful is foreign aid in reducing global inequality?
  • How do traditional gender roles & cultural practices explain inequalities within & between nations?
  • How is globalisation changing the level of inequality across Africa & Asia? 
  • How can we increase the status of minority groups within society?
  • What role do governmental & non-governmental organisations play in reducing inequality? 
  • How does sociological theory help us explain the inequalities in the world?
  • What other A-levels go well with this pathway?
  • Students may wish to consider:
  • A-level Geography (Human Geography pathway), A-level Politics, A-level Economics and/or A-levels in modern foreign languages,


How will I learn?

Sociology lessons incorporate a range of learning activities from class discussion through to independent research tasks, thus developing students' interpersonal and academic skills.  At the end of Yr1, students will have the opportunity to create their own sociological research on a theme linked to their preferred pathway of either Crime & Deviance or International Development.

How will I be assessed?

Students will sit three exams at the end of the second year.

Component 1: Socialisation & Culture - 2hr 30mins exam (worth 40%)

Component 2: Methods of Sociological Enquiry - 1hr 45mins exam (worth 20%)

Component 3: Power & Stratification - 2hrs 30mins (worth 40%)

Are there any trips on this course?

We feel trips are an important way of bringing to life the ideas discussed in the classroom.  In recent years we have run trips to the Old Bailey, where students were able to witness court cases including fraud, terrorism & manslaughter.   We also offer a range of university visits, both to hear the latest sociological research but also a chance to explore the idea of studying Sociology at university.


Are there any extra costs?

Students will be provided with text books however, they are expected to purchase course booklets and question booklets from the college at a cost of approximately £5.00. These include key sociological studies, exam structure, articles, resources and key term glossaries.

There will be an additional cost for any field visits, however this is simply to cover transport & materials.

Are there any specific entry requirements?


What enrichment activities are offered?

  • Annual Restorative Justice Conference : An all-day event with a range of speakers related to topics covered in A-level.
  • Sociology Champion- students can become a Champion which requires them to attend open evening/day events to promote the subject. Including the opportunity to deliver taster sessions to prospective students.
  • Sociology Peer mentor- Opportunity to peer mentor other students in the cohort. You will be given training and support by department teachers.
  • Relevant trips: In previous years we have offered trips to the Old Bailey in London.  We feel it's important you undertake sociological fieldwork, so we will take you on visits to explore ethnic & socio-economic diversity in Swindon or Cheltenham.  There will also be opportunities to attend university visits.  We are currently exploring the possibility of an overseas trip to North Africa.

Careers Information


How will I be supported during my studies?

The Sociology team are there to support you throughout your studies. We offer weekly drop in/booster sessions where students can get 1:1 support for homework, assessments and revision. We also run a Sociology peer mentoring scheme which you can opt into for extra support. 

You can also just make an appointment with us & we can talk through anything you're struggling with.  We're here to help!