Sociology is the academic study of social behaviour; it focuses on how both individuals and groups are influenced by institutions such as the family and education.
The subject matter is diverse and ranges from dysfunction and deviance to beliefs and the notions of dominance and fundamentalism. Unifying these key areas of study is Sociology’s main objective; to understand the extent to which human behaviour and action both shape and are shaped by surrounding social and cultural structures. It empowers students to be able to ask and answer key questions regarding social justice such as who and what is responsible for groups of students failing to achieve, increasing crime levels and domestic violence.
Students wishing to study A Level Sociology require a good foundation in English (minimum Grade 5 at GCSE), in order to investigate and analyse, via extended writing.
Students will work towards being assessed in three advanced level examinations:
Paper 1: Education and Theory and Methods
This paper investigates how variables, such as social class, ethnicity and gender, can shape educational outcomes. It examines and evaluates how research methods and theoretical perspectives are employed to interpret the effects of government policies, school factors and home circumstances on student achievement.
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
- Topic 1 - Families and Households
The focus of this unit is on which types of families are common, whether there is such a thing as a ‘normal’ family and the damage that can be done within the private sphere of family life.
- Topic 2 - Beliefs in Society This unit concentrates on the significance of religion in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of a reduction in religious beliefs, the spread of religious fundamentalism as well as questioning if science has reduced the need for religion.
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
This paper looks at the various theories on why people commit crimes, the differences in the profiles of criminals, why certain people are more likely to commit a crime or be labelled as a criminal and how our definition of what is criminal has changed with new technology.
To secure a place at our Post-16 Centre you will need five or more GCSE passes at Grade 5 or above and a minimum of a Grade 4 in both English Language and Mathematics. You will also need a Grade 5 at GCSE (or equivalent vocational qualification) for most subjects you want to study at A Level.
For new subjects not previously studied at GCSE, for example; Government and Politics, Psychology and Sociology you must have achieved a Grade 5 in English Language. To study Psychology you also need a Grade 5 in Mathematics or be willing to study
Future Study and Career Opportunities
An A Level in Sociology can lead to Higher Education courses in Sociology, Social Policy, Psychology, Journalism, Law and Criminology.
Sociology supports careers in Law, Business, Teaching, Research, Journalism, Police, Social Work and Nursing