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AQA Exam Board

The main UK exam board for sociology has a functional website containing everything you'd expect for teachers (and students) - Specifications, past papers and mark schemes in particular.

OCR Exam Board

If you use the OCR Exam Board you'll find a range of useful materials to download from the Sociology section. These include the standard AS / A2 Specifications and Research Report guide, but there are also materials relating specifically to teaching each of the AS modules - lesson plans, reading lists and web links.


In terms of resources the Welsh Joint Examining Committee (WJEC) web site puts their English counterparts to shame by offering a wide range of materials across the various Specification areas. These include (in no particular order) high quality PowerPoint and Word documents packed with help, advice, Notes, individual and classroom activities and even complete textbook chapters. And it's all completely free.

Although the Specification is different to its English counterparts the sociological similarities are sufficient to make the materials (on areas like Family Life, Crime and Deviance, Power and Politics and Mass Media) perfectly applicable to both AQA and OCR Specifications (although it's entirely possible that once you've had a look at the WJEC Specifications you might decide they offer an interesting and stimulating A-level alternative for your students...). As if this wasn't enough (and believe me, you'll be bowled over by the range and quality) there are also resources available for GCSE Sociology and although these aren't. as yet, as extensive as their A-level counterpart they're well worth checking out none-the-less. The only downside to all this is that the revamped web site is a bit confusing - its attempt to be "mobile friendly" makes it messy to view / navigate on a desktop and the menu system isn't very helpful. However, if you search the site on "sociology" you'll find the resources.

CIE Board

Unlike the main UK Exam Boards, Cambridge International are still able to offer AS and A2 as both standalone qualifications and as a complete A-level (something you can read a bit more about here). There's also a Wiki created by CIE students and the official CIE AS and A-level Sociology Coursebook (modesty forbids me naming the author. Oh.)

Discover Sociology

A range of free a-level resources, from the British Sociological Association, that covers the main Specification areas (family, education, methods...) and more.

The resources are mainly designed for classroom use and each is built around some form of short exercise / lesson suggestion, such as a simple experiment, article to read or video to watch.

Twynham School

Chris Thompson's site contains a range of AS (Family and Education) and A2 resources (Crime and Deviance, Power and Politics, Theory, Research Methods) aimed at the AQA Specification. These include podcasts, PowerPoint slide sets, quizzes, exam questions and blog posts containing notes, commentaries and links to a range of contemporary research. There's lots to explore here and you could do worse than spend some time interacting with the site.

Sociology Stuff

Steve Chapman, an ex-Chief Examiner who has taught Sociology for over 30 years, has created a new web site and blog with a whole truckload of free resources for teachers and students. These include:

• study guides for AQA and OCR topics

• exam advice

• glossaries of key concepts and terms

• revision diagrams

• model exam questions and answers.

Earlham Sociology

This site, created by teacher Russell Hagger, aims "to provide a fairly comprehensive set of materials for several of the modules currently offered in the AQA AS and A2 Sociology specification". The first available module, Education and Training, is split into four sections:
1. PowerPoint presentations
, covering areas like educational achievement and class.
2. Teaching Notes
that provide a comprehensive range of information coupled with classroom activities.
3. Essays
that illustrate how to answer exam questions in terms of a general plan and illustrative text.
Assignments and Discussion Topics that provide teachers with a ready-made set of resources that can be used within the classroom or set as homework.

There's also a
Links page for the sites used or referenced within the materials.


A series of video exercises on a range of topics - from areas like the science of shopping through domestic violence to same-sex marriage. Each exercise involves watching short video clip and then answering questions based around the clip. These can then be automatically emailed to a tutor for marking.


The self-styled "UK’s leading educational website for GCSE and A-level" (really?) presents a a range of short and to-the-point GCSE Notes covering a number of topics (families, education, inequality etc.).

Lancaster University

One of the few (British) Universities to use the Web for anything other than advertising, the Sociology Department has, since January 1999, started to publish a series of On-Line Papers. As you might expect, many of these are aimed at an undergraduate audience, but a number of available papers are (surprisingly) accessible to an A-level audience. The range of materials reflects the particular interests of members of the Department, so it's a little restricted in range, but at present there are papers on aspects of globalisation, production and consumption, work and leisure (the enticingly entitled "Home from home?: a research note on recreational caravanning"), with more topics planned. The presentation is nothing special (it's probably best to print any papers you want to use), but access to a potentially-useful source of up-to-date research is something that should be welcomed.


As the name suggests, the main focus of this site is podcasting (although it does have other features - a section of videos linked from YouTube, blog, online articles and a forum). The podcasts are divided into series and, in the words of their creator, Matthew Wilkin: "Each series has eight episodes on a range of sociological issues that are suitable for a diversity of modules. Each episode lasts between 10-15 minutes and has key words, phrases and interviews to aid with teaching and learning. The entire series has almost 100 minutes of audio".


A veritable cornucopia of interesting material can be found here, from AS modules (Families, Wealth, Poverty and Welfare and Methodology) to A2 modules such as Crime, Religion and Social stratification (with detours through areas such as the Sociology of Bananas - you can learn something about power by eating bananas). There's a broad mix of information, advice, notes, quizzes and PowerPoint presentations on-site (and then some - too much to list in any great detail). In fact, there's so much going-on here it's going to take you some time to view it all, but whether you're a teacher or student it will certainly repay the time you spend on-site.

National Extension College

One of the major publishers of distance learning materials in the UK. If you're in the market for such a package the Sociology materials (written by Roger Gomm) are particularly good, although the course is mainly aimed at students following the AQA syllabus.


This is an A-level site, run by John Maloney, offering a range of site-based resources (student worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, on-line teaching materials, etc.) across a range of syllabus areas (Family life, Health, Crime and the like). In addition, there are links to resource materials available on other sites, a developing GCSE section and the chance to take on-line tests.

Sociology Dictionary

More a glossary than a dictionary (it contains 300-plus explanations neatly arranged in alphabetical order) and probably not much use to anyone new to Sociology (many of the explanations presuppose a fair level of general sociological knowledge). Having said this, it does contain useful summaries of ideas like "Functionalism" and if you've ever wanted to know what concepts like "affluent-alienation" mean (no, me neither), this is probably a good place to start...


Once you get past the naff title (school's cool? - I don't think so) this is actually a useful little site for sociology, specifically, and A-level study in general. The main interest centres on a series of "QuickLearn Guides" (revision notes to you and me). These cover topics like Family Life, Theory, Religion and the like - nothing particularly earth-shattering in terms of either presentation or content, but useful for all that. There's also a Key Skills section with-a-difference since it effectively allows teachers / students to store / track key skills developments on-line. This is a neatly-presented site that's well worth a visit.

Sociology Update

Many A-level students and teachers will be familiar with Martyn Denscombe's "Updates" series of sociology booklets. If you're not, these provide a rich source of up-to-date empirical material on various sociological topics. Unfortunately for anyone not familiar with the format, the site doesn't offer any free examples / materials. However, it does contain a current / backdated list of available titles that can be ordered using the form provided on the site.

Social Science Space

The "social science bites"  section of this site contains a large number of podcast interviews (they've just reached 50 at the time of writing) on a wide range of topics, some of which will be useful for sociology teachers and students. You might, for example, find some or all of the following interesting:

Steven Lukes on Émile Durkheim

John Brewer on C. Wright Mills

Peter Lunt on Erving Goffman

Peter Ghosh on Max Weber and ‘The Protestant Ethic’

Linda Woodhead on the New Sociology of Religion

Angus Deaton on Health and Inequality

Kate Pickett on the Case for Equality

Angela McRobbie on the Illusion of Equality for Women

Danny Dorling on Inequality

Each podcast page also has a complete transcript of the interview.

Educational Research

Tanya Hope has contributed to a number of A-level texts (reviews of which you'll find here) and this site exists to:
"...disseminate my educational and sociological research in an effort to support an ethos of academic sharing".
At present you'll find original research material (the Educational Maintenance Allowance material could be useful for OCR students doing the Research Report...) and the promise of free teaching resources, book reviews and links.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

It's difficult to know where to begin with this site since it contains, in its own words "several hundred research summaries", all of which can be browsed on-line or downloaded in pdf format. You can search for articles by keyword (from "Abuse" to "Youth") or category (for example, social policy research). There's too much available on the site to describe in a few words so, if you want up-to-date information on a wide range of sociological topics, I'd be inclined to give Mr. Rowntree a visit...


Although I've mentioned David Gauntlett's site in the Mass Media section, it's worth mentioning again here because of an interesting feature of the site that's well-worth checking out - "Trading Cards". These are basically revision cards featuring an outline of a writer or theory plus a couple of strengths / weaknesses. The cards are attractively designed and might prove useful as either a revision aid or classroom display.

Bad Subjects

An interesting, left-leaning, American on-line journal with a range of archived topics to browse (including issues given over to articles on gender, ethnicity, media and so forth). Probably not going to be hugely useful to A-level students, but worth a browse just to check out the articles from time to time.


For some reason I've never put a link to what must be one of the most popular (at least in terms of links) Sociology sites on the Web. Whether you're searching for subject areas, sociologists, newsletters, mailing lists, newsgroups or newspapers, this site will probably have the link you need (and probably a few hundred more you could follow, just for good measure). Most links have annotations that give you a basic idea about what you might find on a site and the whole site adds-up to an incredible labour of love. There are no fancy graphics or whizzy effects - just solid, reliable, information. A great (essential?) starting- point for all kinds of sociological surfing (so forget I wrote the first sentence...).

Sociology 7th Edition

Extensive resources to support the very popular Giddens' textbook (although it probably wouldn't be quite so popular if those buying it realised Giddens stopped writing it after the 1st or maybe 2nd edition - Philip Sutton is the latest "co-author"). Not that I'm bitter or anything. Be that as it may it's a readable text, but the resources on offer here aren't earth-shattering - a bit too much "read the text and answer these questions"...

Cyberspace (A Sociological Tour)

An interesting concept (and site) that offers a huge range of useful information on areas such as social inequality, family and gender, ethnicity, age and much more besides. Although seemingly aimed at American undergraduates, much of the material is the right level for A-level students. There's nothing too fancy about the presentation (vanilla text on a variety of "interesting" backgrounds) but it's well-organised and clearly structured. A good resource for students (and teachers).

The Sociology Shop

The Shop is an interesting concept, in terms of both design and content. The basic idea (I think...) is that since Sociology knows no boundaries, neither does The Shop - which is why you'll find a range of "rooms" devoted to "Sociology" in it's minimal academic sense - articles and links on crime and education which will be of specific interest to A2 teachers and students (there's a particularly useful section on Peter Berger's contribution to the sociology of knowledge) and "Sociology" in its widest sense - rooms devoted to critical thinking skills, conceptual tools and humour. The site's clearly a labour of love and it's none the worse for so being...

The National Archives

A nice site to browse and a lot of information packed into it's many pages. There's not, in truth, anything of immediate interest to A-level Sociologists, but there's plenty of general interest stuff (some of which is stunningly well-presented) and it contains the potential for search material on a variety of project-related information.

Social Studies School Service

A commercial site specialising in various aspects of social studies (History, Geography and so forth), this offers sample lessons from various activity books on a wide range of topics (Industrial Revolution, Religion etc.) as well as links to "Homework Help" sites (sites that offer tips and techniques). There's also a section related to media studies (at present this just seems to involve Amistad and The Crucible, however).

Sociology Review

"Sociology Review" is probably the standard journal for A-level students, even though it's heavily biased towards the AQA syllabus and many of the articles could serve as useful undergraduate introductions. But, for all its faults, it should be essential reading (especially given the, probably unfounded and potentially libellous, suggestion that articles appearing in the year preceding the exam give teachers a pretty good guide to the sort of questions that will appear in the exam).

Thinking Allowed

BBC radio programme presented by Laurie Taylor featuring interviews with leading sociologists (and some following sociologists it has to be said). Always worth checking out - and have a look through the archive too.

The Student Room

If you're not familiar with the Student Room it's basically a huge message board site where you and your friends can talk bollocks about everything under the sun - including sociology - until the cows come home. It does, however, have a useful Wiki filled with revision notes. Where these are from I know not, nor can I attest to their veracity or quality. On the plus side, there's lots of them.

Sociology Study Site

This site, created to support an American Sociology text, has a load of very interesting summaries of classic sociological / social psychological studies plus a few other bits-and-bobs that may or may not be interesting. Since it's basically a ghost site - last updated 2002 - you may need to visit while you still can.

Sociology Resources

A later (2014) version of the Sociology Study Site - same book, different version - with a whole new range of not-quite-so-classic sociological and social psychological research articles. Useful but not essential.

Rachel's Sociology Revision

Although this site looks like it hasn't been updated "recently" there are a few Revision documents here on education that might be worth downloading.

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