Sociology entails the study of human society. Sociology explores the way that individuals influence society and how society shapes individuals. Sociology looks at factors such as social class, ethnicity and gender and the impact of these on our life chances. Sociology is topical and political. You will explore contemporary issues such as changing patterns in crime and deviance and fundamentalism. It also investigates social areas such as Education, The Family, Power and Politics, Crime and Deviance, Poverty, The Media, Religion and
Research Methods. Sociology causes debates. Taken for granted assumptions are investigated and challenged. The study of Sociology leads to the understanding of complex issues and it is a good basis for university level study in all disciplines. This course requires a hungry mind and a desire to want to get beneath the headlines that often shape our opinions.
Grade 5 in English Language / Literature / History / Philosophy. You must have the required qualifications for the Advanced Pathway.
A Level – Level 3
ou will study:
Family: including its changing shape and patterns. You will explore different types of family in the UK, and the reasons for changes to its composition including government policies and changing social attitudes. You will learn different sociological theories and their explanation of family life including Marxism and Functionalism. You will learn about how capitalism needs the oppressed family to survive.
Education: including explanations of why children from middle class backgrounds do better in education than children from working class backgrounds. You will also explore gender and ethnic differences in educational achievement and will explore whether it is family background or the schools themselves that cause the underperformance of specific social groups. You will also explore the hidden curriculum and government policies.
Research methods: including interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, case studies and questionnaires. You will also look at ethical issues and practical issues when conducting sociological research and will have the opportunity to do your own small scale research.
Social Theories: such as functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, the New Right, Interpretivism and Post- Modernity, and how these competing perspectives explain society.
Beliefs in Society: including the reasons people join sects, cults and new age movements, the secularisation debate and the declining influence of religion, religious fundamentalism and religion and social control.
Crime and Deviance: including the links between social class, gender and ethnicity and crime, the links between the media and crime, gangs and gang culture, green and state crime and theoretical explanations of crime and deviance in the UK.
What skills will I develop?
|Developing an argument with justification
|Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
How will I be assessed?
There is no coursework in sociology, although you will be given the opportunity to conduct practical investigations. There are three external examinations that will be taken at the end of the second year. You will be assessed at the end of the first year by an internal mock examination. Your progress is
continuously monitored throughout the course at different assessment opportunitie
Is there anything else I should know?
A Level Sociology combines well with English, History, Psychology and Religious Studies. It also combines well with BTEC courses like Health and Social Care and Children’s Play, Learning and Development
Many students who study Sociology go on to university to study Criminology, Sociology, Social Studies, Youth Work, Teaching, the Police, and Social Work. Graduates are able to access a wide choice of future employment opportunities in various sectors, as well as providing valuable transferable skills that can apply to a wide range of occupations.