Sociology’s theoretical traditions are grounded in philosophy. The subject explores how humans are socialised and contribute to society. We investigate all aspects of social life ranging from the experiences of individuals, large groups, societies as a whole and globalisation. You will be required to have an inquisitive and open mind. We will be analysing aspects of the social world in which we live and the methods of researching the social world.
“Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behaviour as social beings.”
What will I study?
During year one, after an initial introduction to some key sociological theories such as Marxism and Functionalism, you will study:
Topic 1: Education with Theory and Methods
- What is the role and function of education?
- Does social class, gender and ethnicity have an impact upon educational achievement?
- Other influences on education such as subcultures and pupil identities.
- What methods do sociologists use to gather evidence about individuals and societies as a whole?
Topic 2: Families and Households
- How has the idea of ‘family’ changed in the context of economical and wider social changes?
- The changing patterns of marriage, divorce, childbearing.
- The changing pattern of gender roles within society.
- What are the reasons for demographic changes in the UK and the impact on family diversity?
During year two you will study:
Topic 3: Crime and Deviance with theory and methods
- How are crime and deviance defined and measured?
- What are the patterns and trends in crime?
- How do sociologists explain crime and what methods are used to explain crime?
- How can crime and deviance be reduced?
You will study either:
- Beliefs in society
- Global development
- The media
- Stratification and differentiation
A variety of teaching methods will be used to engage you with new concepts and terms. You will be assessed by formal examination at the end of the course. The Sociology A-Level is assessed entirely through examination. You will sit three two-hour exams at the end of year two.
You will have the opportunity to sit an AS exam at the end of Year 1.
- Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths.
- At least one grade 5 and one grade 6 in GCSE written subjects. One of these must be English Language. Other written subjects include History, Geography, Humanities, English Literature, Business, Media Studies, Religious Studies (full course), Drama or Film.
We recommend that you take Core Maths alongside this course.
What could I do next?
Sociology is a recognised academic subject which can be combined with Arts and Science subjects for entry into Higher Education.
It has particular value for students wishing to pursue careers which involve understanding people and require the ability to organise, research and analyse information. It is relevant therefore to careers in Law, the Police, Health and Social Care, Probation Work, Personnel Management, Teaching, Civil Service, Media/Journalism and Market research. Sociology develops the skills necessary to assess evidence, reach conclusions and have an awareness of the modern world which make it a flexible qualification as well as a fascinating subject to study.