HOMEWORK

KS5 Sociology Revision

Useful Advice
Sociology at A level requires you to engage with the content we are covering. You will not be able to succeed if you try to cut corners with your learning or revision. Additional reading, effective use of independent study time and discipline will all be crucial if you are to achieve well at this level.

The Specification
The 2 year course follow the AQA Sociology specification. Make sure you are familiar with the layout of the course and the examinations. You should also make full use of the past papers and specimen papers.

Exams
There will be three separate, written examinations; each carry a 33% weighting and are sat in the Summer of Year 2. There will be PPE's in both Year 1 and 2 to help assess and improve your understanding and examination technique.

Filter - Make sure you know what is included and that you have all the information you need.

Paper 1

Education: what the specification says.... 
Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:
  • the role and functions of the education system, including its relationship to the economy and to class structure
  • differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society
  • relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil identities and subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning
  • the significance of educational policies, including policies of selection, marketisation and privatisation, and policies to achieve greater equality of opportunity or outcome, for an understanding of the structure, role, impact and experience of and access to education; the impact of globalisation on educational policy
Research Methods: what the specification says....
  • quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design
  • sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents and official statistics
  • the distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data
  • the relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’
  • the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research
  • consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories
  • the concepts of modernity and post-modernity in relation to sociological theory
  • the nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific
  • the relationship between theory and methods
  • debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom
  • the relationship between Sociology and social policy

Paper 2

Beliefs in Society: what the specification says.... 
Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:
  • 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
  • the relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices
  • the significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context, and globalisation and the spread of religions.
Families & Households: what the specification says....
  • the relationship of the family to the social structure and social change, with particular reference to the economy and to state policies
  • changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures
  • gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships within the family in contemporary society
  • the nature of childhood, and changes in the status of children in the family and society
  • demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900: birth rates, death rates, family size, life expectancy, ageing population, and migration and globalisation

Paper 3

Crime & Deviance: what the specification says....
Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:
  • crime, deviance, social order and social control
  • the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime
  • globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes
  • crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies.
Theory and Methods: what the specification says....
  • quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design
  • sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents and official statistics
  • the distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data
  • the relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of ‘social facts’
  • the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s) and the conduct of research
  • consensus, conflict, structural and social action theories
  • the concepts of modernity and post-modernity in relation to sociological theory
  • the nature of science and the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific
  • the relationship between theory and methods
  • debates about subjectivity, objectivity and value freedom
  • the relationship between Sociology and social policy

Learn - Check your understanding and identify any areas to revise and re-work.

Once you are clear on the information and knowledge needed for Paper 1, you can start checking for areas you need to focus on or re-cover. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to do this but you should find a system and process that works for you (not just what feels easiest!)

Some ideas for helping you learn the content and knowledge you need;
  • Revision posters
  • Mind-maps for each of the sections within the paper 
  • Cue-cards (useful for key terms, named writers, dates, studies and definitions)
  • Quizzes and podcasts (there are plenty of these online including www.podology.org.uk and www.quizlet.com)
  • Try something different (explain content to your friends/parents, try changing where you revise and the method you use)

Test - Put yourself in exam conditions... how well would you do?!

This is the most important element of your revision.

You should be checking your ability to retrieve and apply your knowledge under exam conditions. This could involve checking your definitions and key terms, completing short answer questions (SAQ's) or attempting past exam papers without notes. ​You should be using approximately 30-40% of your revision time to test, check and re-test yourself; this is the best way to get ready for your exams!

Below are two past exam papers for each paper which you may want to attempt. ​There are also a range of SAQ's (short answer questions) and 10 mark questions which will help you check your understanding and prepare you for exams.

There are more resources, including past papers and mark scheme available on the AQA website or here.

Past Papers

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