Sociology

Sociology is a fascinating way of trying to understand our complex and constantly changing society.

Sociology is not about simply presenting facts about society. Instead, it is about different interpretations of those facts and explanations for why they occur. Sociologists seek to identify patterns and relationships between different parts of society and seek to establish meaning through the study of evidence. Sociology is also concerned with ideas and theories about the nature of society and the individuals in it. A key element of sociology is an attempt to understand our identities and the cultures we live in. Sociology is an inherently interesting subject because it is about all of us and our place in society. It helps you to think beyond the obvious and it helps you to think differently about the world around you. Sociology compliments a range of other subjects through the skills of argument, questioning, essay writing and discussion. It is also a very wide-ranging subject because almost anything can be explained sociologically.

The AS course includes the study of compulsory topics: Education, Methods in Context, and Research Methods. For the exam, students must then answer a question from each of four topic choices. These are: Culture and identity, Families and households, Health, Work, poverty and welfare.

Students are examined at the end of the course by two written papers:
Paper 1 – Education with Methods in Context (90 minutes)
Paper 2 – Research methods and Topics in Sociology (90 minutes).

The A level course requires further study of a compulsory topic, Crime and Deviance. Additionally, students choose one more topic from a choice of four. These are: Beliefs in society, Global Development, The media, Stratification and differentiation.

At A Level, students will be expected to show more range and depth of knowledge and understanding than at AS Level, together with more highly developed skills in analysis, interpretation and evaluation.

The A Level assesses both AS and A Level topics by three written exam papers taken at the end of the course:
Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods (two hours)
Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (two hours)
Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (two hours).

Sociology is an academic subject, and combines especially well with English, Sociology and the Sciences. We welcome students who have achieved at least B grades in GCSE Science, English Language or Mathematics. These entry requirements reflect the analytical, written and logical skills that are essential for success in A Level Sociology.

Sociologists are trained to think critically about the world around them and to construct clear and logical arguments supported by appropriate evidence. There are many careers where sociology is an important and useful qualification, including professions such as, journalism, the police and the legal profession.