AS and A-level Sociology - our new specifications transcript

AS and A-level Sociology

Our new specifications

Rupert Sheard, Qualifications Manager, Sociology

Throughout the process of developing this new specification we have been keen to build on our strong legacy in sociology. With your needs in mind we have made sure that it is rooted in your current experiences and that of your students. Our new specification also reflects the fact that sociology is a modern up-to-date and edgy subject deserving of your students attention.

You may be aware of the changes laid down by the government which will alter how the new A-level subjects will work. Within these rules we have a new AS and A-level specification built on the specific needs of sociology teachers. The move from modular to linear will be a big change and that's why we've been careful to make sure that most of the content will be familiar to you. We've also taken certain things out to give you more time to get through the course.

Before you read the details of the specification there are a couple of points I would like to draw your attention to. Firstly, regarding content, we have retained much of the existing content so that you can get up and running without too many challenges. Secondly, even though the AS has been decoupled from the A-level we have developed an AS which is completely co-teachable with the first year of the A-level qualification. This means that, like now, you can choose to have AS and A-level students in the same classroom. This offers you flexibility in terms of timetabling while providing a richer classroom experience.

As a former teacher myself I was always reassured when A-level specifications were developed with strong teacher input. As the most popular exam board in sociology we were able to speak to huge numbers of teachers to help us develop our specification. The feedback we received helped us to fine-tune our content and the result is the best, most teacher-led specification possible.

To help you get to know our new specification we have developed a wide range of support materials; these include schemes of work, lesson plans, examples of students work and other resources which will be provided free of charge. There are benefits to being the most used specification for sociology teachers across the UK, one of them is that leading educational publishers want to work with us and ultimately you. We are partnering with these publishers to put together two sociology textbooks giving you the choice of the right textbook to support your teacher. We take our responsibility to you as teachers and to your students seriously. Because of this we have invested time, money and expertise into making this new specification right for you and right for your classes. To prepare you for September 2015 we are offering free face-to-face meetings, a series of online events and preparing to teach events.

Having taught A-level Sociology myself I am personally excited about the possibilities these new changes will bring. I know that they will help to encourage discussion, motivate teachers and inspire students and that's what we're here for.

We've created our new specifications with you in mind.

Visit aqa.org.uk/sociology