Sociology

What’s it all about?

This course helps you to gain a critical understanding of the society in which you live. You learn how society shapes people’s ideas, social behaviour and cultures. 

Sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time.  It is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. Since all human behaviour is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge. 

In addition to the subject content the course will enable students to develop a series of key and critical skills that are transferable.  In particular the course will give students the opportunity to think critically about the world in which they live and to become independent learners.

To get started

Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language would be an advantage because A Level Sociology is an exam essay based subject and will require you to write extended exam answers. Additionally an interest in current affairs, people and society would be of benefit and a natural curiosity to explore the structure of UK society.

Exam and Assessment Information

AQA

You will be examined in three papers, each taken at the end of Year 13.

Paper 1 – 33.3%

The sociology of education with theory and research methods

What factors influence educational achievement?

How do different social groups differ in relation to educational experience and success? What differences are there in terms of class, ethnicity and gender and why do these differences exist?

What is the role and function of education systems in society?

Sociological theory and the application of methodology to study education.

Paper 2 – 33.3%

Topics in Sociology

Families and households;  The role of the family in society.  Changes in the structure of the family.  The social construction of childhood.

Beliefs in Society; An exploration of the way beliefs shape the way we see the world and influence how we live.

Paper 3 – 33.3% 

Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

Theories and crime and deviance.  

The causes and effects of crime on individuals and society.

Sociological theory and issues in sociology.

What next?

Sociology provides an excellent basis to study a range of subjects such as social sciences, history, humanities, politics, geography, psychology at university.  It also offers a sound basis for many career paths including law, politics, criminology (including police work and probation), social research, youth work, social work, nursing and teaching, to name but a few.