Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Karl Thompson
ReviseSociology.com provides free revision resources for A-level sociology students, focussing on revision notes, revision mind maps and diagrams, and model answers for all types of exam questions written for the AQA A-level sociology specification (2015 onwards).
While a lot of the content is focused on the AQA A-level sociology specification, much of the substantive content will be relevant to other A-level specifications (just not the exam material, which is specifically for the AQA).Students studying under syllabuses should also find the revision notes and diagrams useful, but probably less so the exam advice, given that this is specific to the AQA. Such students are advised to consult their own exam boards materials for specific advice on assessment such as the format of exams and mark schemes.
While the primary focus of the blog started out targeting A-level sociology students specifically, I have since expanded the scope of the content and included a range of material that should be of relevance to students studying sociology more generally, history, economics, politics, business studies and education and both A-level and degree level, focussing more recently on critical analysis of contemporary news events and summaries of the latest social research and statistical releases.
ReviseSociology has been live since February 2014 and just keeps on growing: I aim to provide at least three new posts a week, but these days most of my time is spent keeping historic material up to date, and I am to update all of the main A-level posts and the most popular posts more generally at least once every three years.
All of the A-level exam material for the AQA is up to date for the 2023 and 2024 A-level exams.
About The author
I did my first degree in American Studies and Anthropology back in the mid 1990s, graduating in 1997, and then did a Masters Degree in Sociology and Social Research which I completed in the year 2000.
I qualified as a teacher in 2001 and then went on to teach A-level Sociology for 16 years full time until 2018, ten of those years as Head of Department. I have also worked as an examiner on all of the modules for the AQA for a decade, so trust me, I know what you need to know.
I quit full time teaching in 2018, which I was able to do thanks to income earned from this blog and have spent the last five years keeping the material up to date.
Topics covered on ReviseSociology.com
The main subject areas within A-level sociology ReviseSociology.com covers are:
- The sociology of education (Paper 7191/1)
- Theory and research methods including applied methods, aka methods in context (Papers 7193/1 and 7192/3)
- Families and households (Paper 7192/2)
- Beliefs in society/ aka religion (Paper 7192/2)
- The Media (Paper 7192/2)
- Global Development and Globalisation (Paper 7192/2)
- Crime and Deviance (Paper 7192/3).
All of the first year A-level content is also relevant to the AS level in sociology, and there are some posts dedicated to the AS exams.
ReviseSociology.com also provides longer form class notes on many of the sub-topics within the above subject areas, and numerous posts analysing contemporary global events from different sociological perspectives. This site should thus be of use to students studying first year degree level sociology as well as anyone with just a general interest in the subject.
Sociology Revision Resources for Sale
Best value is my A level sociology revision mega bundle – which contains the following:
- over 200 pages of revision notes
- 60 mind maps in pdf and png formats
- 50 short answer exam practice questions and exemplar answers
- Covers the entire A-level sociology syllabus, AQA focus.
All proceeds go to the author (yours truly, not a large corporation!)
Sociology Teaching Resources for Sale
You might be interested in my latest (November 2019) teaching resource pack which contains everything teachers need to deliver 10 hour long ‘introduction to sociology’ lessons.
Included in the bundle is a clearly structured 50 page gapped student work-pack, six PowerPoints* to structure the 10 lessons, 10 detailed lesson plans outlining a range of learning activities you can use with students, a massive list of relevant contemporary resources with links, and numerous lesson activities including introductions, plenaries and links to some Socrative quizzes.
These resources contain all the core sociology knowledge students need for a through introduction sociology, illustrated with numerous up to date contemporary case studies and statistics.
The resources have been designed for A-level sociology and cover the core themes on the AQA’s specification but are suitable for new 16-19 students studying any specification.
You might also like these teaching resources for the sociology of education. They are specifically designed for A-level sociology students and consist of several versions of key concepts definitions (80 concepts in total), gapped summary grids with answers covering the entire sociology of education specification and 7 analysis activities.
If you want to get both of the above resources and receive regular updates of teaching resources then you can subscribe for £9.99 a month. I’ll be producing 10 hour long lessons worth of resources every month throughout 2020 and beyond. The £9.99 subscription means you get the resources for 50% off the usual £19.99 price.
I will shortly be making available the following resources for teachers:
My favourite fully resourced lesson plans – consisting of a variety of individual and interactive activities which draw on my two decades of experience teaching sociology. Everything from…
Exam question and essay plan templates – these are a series of A4 and A3 templates designed to get students into the habit of ‘structuring’ their answers properly. They have been designed to go with the exam material in the revision bundle.
Revision summary packs – these are possibly the most useful revision resource of them all… a set of bare bones packs consisting of blanked grids and other diagrams which students simply complete.
Revision power point bundles – some students quite like just a quick reminder of the ‘what they need to know’, and these PowerPoints provide just that.
Wall displays – Just something I enjoy doing that I thought other teachers might like. Print these out in colour on A3 and laminate to supplement yer wall display!
Other interesting stuff available on ReviseSociology.com
This is mainly a web site devoted to providing resources for the teaching, learning and revising of A-level sociology, but I also use it to post blogs about my other interests too, which include:
Testing and Reviewing Educational technology
The very existence of this blog is an experiment in the use of educational technology. Personally I think it is ‘evolutionary’, but please feel free to disagree!
I believe blogging is one of the powerful forms of educational technology available for presenting the core knowledge relevant to A-level and degree level subjects in clearly structured, accessible and understandable format.
It is possible to structure content via pages and one can even write multiple levels of blog posts, from the complex to bare-bones ‘dumbed down’ versions, and connect them all easily. Blogs also lend themselves to the use of multiple forms of media (pictures and videos) to supplement text and it’s also very easy to make them interactive, not only via comments, but also via polls and quizzes which can easily be embedded.
Not only this, they are easy to improve and update while painting the overall structure. In short – blogs, I think, have many advantages over text books.
HOWEVER, I do not have an entirely rose tinted view of the use of technology in education, and one of my interests is in critically evaluating the effects of the use of educational technology on students, teachers and wider society more generally.
One of the trends that concerns me most is the possibility that the increasing use of online courses in education will empower a handful of ‘super content producers and delivers’ (of which I fully intend to be one), but disempower ordinary teachers, still stuck in their classrooms, left struggling to manage the new requirements to use ed tech AND deal with the normal sub-optimality of having 20-30 teenagers in an enclosed space.
Some of my posts on this blog focus on a critical appraisal of education technology, and whether it’s good for education, drawing on writers such as Nick Selwyn.
Data analysis and visualisation
I’ve found Infographics extremely useful for livening up many topics in A-level sociology, and I’ve developed an interest in learning how to create my own.
Good data visualisations are powerfully efficient educational tools: they are the most engaging way of presenting a lot of quantitative information in a condensed form and I’ve found them especially useful in A-level sociology for livening up topics such as ‘gender and subject choice’ and ‘family and household diversity’.
Some of my favourite infographics for educational purposes include those produced by The Guardian and by The Equality Trust.
The problem I’ve found is that however pretty they are, infographics are only as good as the data used in their construction, and I’ve found that the infographics available rarely have all of the information I need when teaching a particular topic. It follows that I’ve developed an interest in producing data visualisations, which in turn has taken me down the route of learning more about the strengths and limitations of quantitative data and different techniques of data analysis.
I’m currently in the process of developing a range of interactive, educational infographics in the following areas:
- The sociology of education
- The sociology of work
- Wealth and income inequalities
- Personal finances and early retirement
I do most of my infographic work in Tableau.
If you need bespoke infographics producing around specific content and can supply the data, get in touch: I might be able to help you out.
Personal academic interests
I’m also interested in the following:
- Highlighting the ‘insanity of normality’ – raising awareness of how ‘perfectly ordinary’ everyday aspirations, habitual actions, and ‘typical lifestyles’ have negative consequences for the self (in terms of physical and mental health), the reproduction of society and the environment.
- Reflecting on and theorising about why so many of us lead such ‘sub-optimal lifestyles’…. To what extent Is it down to society and the logic of our institutions, or is sub-optimality just down to individual ‘choice’?
- Exploring and raising awareness of alternative lifestyles and networks which offer more self-fulfilling and sustainable ways of being.
- Reflecting on the extent to which Buddhist philosophy and ethics might help us lay the foundations for leading a good life and constructing the ‘good society.
- The quantified self and self-tracking cultures, just because this interests me as a runner and a self-tracker.
- 19th century utopian socialism and early social theory.
Twitter – @realsociology
And a few more….
Sources of Information I use to write this blog
The main sources of information I use to write the briefer revision posts on this blog are:
- Haralambos and Holborn (2013) – Sociology Themes and Perspectives, Eighth Edition, Collins. ISBN-10: 0007597479
- Chapman et al (2016) – A Level Sociology Student Book Two [Fourth Edition] Collins. ISBN-10: 0007597495
- Chapman et al (2015) A Level Sociology Student Book One, Including AS Level [Fourth Edition], Collins. ISBN-10: 0007597479
- Robb Webb et al (2016) AQA A Level Sociology Book 2, Napier Press. ISBN-10: 0954007921
- Robb Webb et al (2015) AQA A Level Sociology Book 1, Napier Press. ISBN-10: 0954007913
For the longer posts I use a broader range of material, and cite these when I use them.
The disclaimer below applies to this page, the whole blog and any individual blog posts!
The revision and exam advice is not endorsed by the AQA or any other A-level sociology exam board. The information and advice given is the author’s own interpretation and students use this at their own discretion.
Using this information should get you a decent grade, but is no guarantee of it, and it is advised that candidates read the AQA’s specification and exam advice thoroughly for themselves in preparation for their course of study and exam!
I don’t set the agenda for A level sociology – its set by a combination of some people at the AQA (I’m not even sure who they are, exactly), and the main A-level sociology text book authors, which the examiners at the AQA use to double check their exam questions are reasonable. I don’t set the syllabus, I don’t write the text books, so I am not the one responsible for the fact that you still have know about dated studies such as Paul Willis’ 1977 study ‘Learning to Labour’, neither am I responsible for misrepresentations of various theorists in the main A-level text books – I know for a fact that many text books have over-simplified aspects of Paul Gilroy and Anthony Giddens to the point that they either make no sense, or are just wrong.
If you think something pointlessly dated, or just wrong, then please do comment, I’m sure it will make its way back to the A-level agenda-setters, and constructive comments should be welcomed by them!