This is the foundation course on which subsequent, university level Sociology courses are based. This course offers a broad introduction to Sociology, its key thinkers, concepts and research areas.

Topics covered

  • Overview: The course introduces students to the history of Sociology, outlining how key thinkers have contributed to the development of the discipline. In doing this, the course introduces students to key sociological concepts and theories and explores these in the context of real‐life issues. There is also an introduction to research methods in sociology.
  • Sociological perspectives: This unit offers an introduction to the history and concepts of Sociology, its key thinkers and methods.
  • Sociological themes: This unit introduces students to the study of a range of social phenomena that sociologists are interested in. These include identity, political sociology, globalisation and inequality.
  • Policy issues: This module moves on from theories and concepts to applying sociological perspectives to practical questions around family, education, crime and poverty. Students will also compare contrasting approaches – both theoretical and methodological – to understanding these issues.
  • Contemporary issues: The final module looks at areas of our lives experiencing rapid social change, such as urbanisation, media, work and the environment. Students will apply different sociological approaches to the study of these issues.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Identify and explain key concepts, theories and methodological approaches used in Sociology
  • Apply Sociological theories and models to real‐life issues covered in the course
  • Contrast different approaches to the same Sociological phenomenon in terms of the evidentiary basis on which claims are made.


Unseen written exam (Two-hour 15 minutes).

Essential reading

  • Browne, K. (20013) Sociology for AS AQA. 4th ed. Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Giddens. A. and Sutton, P. W. (2013) Sociology Cambridge: Polity Press.