Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.

C Wright Mills

Sociology is a relevant and contemporary subject that develops students’ understanding of themselves and the society that they live in. Sociologists work in areas such as education, social policy, law, media, private enterprise and the research industries.


Elizabeth Collins  |

Bhawani Daniel  |

Aaliyah Hassan  | 

Hanna O'Mahoney |        


In Y10 and Y11 students learn about:

  • The Sociological approach
  • The role and function of family and households in a global context
  • Education in modern Britain
  • The causes and effects of criminal and deviant behaviour
  • Social inequality in modern Britain
  • Sociological research methods

These topics will enable students to grasp a deep understanding into the debates regarding human behaviour. Students will be equipped with skills to critically consider how human behaviour is shaped and influenced by the major institutions in Britain as well as other environmental factors.

In class they will develop a sociological imagination which will enable them to analyse social issues and problems. They will develop a formal academic style of writing and improve their analytical thinking and reading skills. They will also develop a deep understanding of different theoretical perspectives of our society and how to carry out social science research projects. 

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Students will be taught the topics in Paper 1 outlined in the AQA specification

Autumn term

Introduction to Sociology

An introduction to the key sociological terms and concepts, with an introductory look at the role of research methods.

Revision and modular exams

Spring term

Sociology of the family

A sociological examination of the issues facing contemporary families and households in Britain such as family diversity, changes in relationships, divorce and the debate regarding the decline in the nuclear family.

Sociology of education

The structure of education in Britain, the role of both formal and informal education in society, as well as focusing on differential achievement and the effects of class, gender and ethnicity on educational outcome.

Revision and modular exams

Summer term

Sociology of education continued

Examining the usefulness of sociological approaches to research through active participation in a research project.

Paper 1 Revision and GCSE mock exam



Students will be taught the topics in Paper 2 outlined in the AQA specification

Autumn term

Sociology of crime and deviance

An investigation to the social construction of crime. Students will examine a range of sub-topics within this debate including data on crime, the differential treatment of social groups and the usefulness of sociological explanations of the causes of crime.

Revision and modular exams

Spring term

Examining a variety of social inequalities in Britain including social mobility, poverty, changes to the stratification system, differential treatment of social groups and the role of the law in addressing these inequalities.

GCSE Revision and Paper 2 mock exam

Summer term

Paper 1 and Paper 2 revision until GCSE exams.

Y11 assessment revision information




Suggested reading

An Introduction to Sociology’ by Polity Press by Ken Browne and the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx or the Sociological Imaginations by C Wright Mills.

It is also useful for students to have a reasonable understanding of current affairs and news. It is therefore advisable that they watch the news and when possible, read a broadsheet newspaper.

Things to see and do

Reports on the Black Lives Matter movement and inequalities exposed by the national response to COVID-19.



Exam or controlled assessment


Paper 1: The Sociology of families and education

Exam: 1 hour, 45 minutes


Paper 2: The Sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification

Exam: 1 hour, 45 minutes




As part of the LaSWAP consortium, Acland Burghley offers a Sociology A level.