Sociology is the study of society. The questions it asks include: How has my sense of identity come about? What does it mean to be a Feminist today? Is the education system fair? Why have divorce rates increased over time? Why do men account for 95% of the prison population? Is society becoming more secular? Underpinning these questions is an exploration of the ways in which different sociologists see and investigate the social world. In an age of rapid social change and uncertainty – the study of Sociology is as essential now as it ever was. Sociology unravels the mystery of social structures such as class, ethnicity and gender. The course is varied and adaptable; students will acquire a range of valuable skills for higher education: analysis; debate; criticism; empathy; objectivity and essay-writing techniques. Importantly, Sociology reminds students that we should always keep an open mind and question what we see in our world.
The A-Level consists of the following units:
Education with Theory and Methods.
As above, with greater emphasis on research methodology.
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology (Families and Households and Beliefs in Society). In addition to understanding sociological perspectives, A-Level students develop their understanding of issues like secularisation, religious fundamentalism, sects, cults and sociological perspectives on religion.
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
Why do some social groups seem to participate in crime more than others? In Crime and Deviance, the focus is very much on understanding the social explanations for why people commit crime and how they are punished. The Theory and Methods element of the unit deepens understanding of the major perspectives; including Feminism, Functionalism, Marxism and Social Action Theories.
Assessment for A-Level Sociology is via examinations:
Paper 1: 2 hour exam (33.3%) Short answers and extended writing
Paper 2: 2 hour exam (33.3%) Extended writing
Paper 3: 2 hour exam (33.3%) Short answers and extended writing
To be accepted onto this course, a minimum of grade 6 in GCSE sociology is required. Where students have not taken the GCSE in Sociology, they are expected to have a grade 6 minimum at GCSE in English Language instead. The course demands good essay writing skills, further research on topical sociological issues and a willingness to contribute to class discussion. You will be set independent learning tasks every week and will also be expected to carry out your own reading, as well as essay writing tasks frequently.
Examination Board: AQA. Course Number: 7192