Sociology

Why Study Sociology?

Sociology is the scientific study of social behaviour. It is an academic subject with close links to anthropology and psychology. Sociology is concerned with real-world issues with policy relevance, such as social inequality, organised crime, the social basis of political conflict and mobilisation, and changes in family relationships and gender roles. Some theorists see certain individuals as powerful in shaping society, while other theorists look at the processes within society including, labelling individuals, as a crucially important factor in shaping society. What is undeniable is that, as individuals, we spend almost all our time in groups, and in order to understand our behaviour we have to examine and assess the impact of those groups and institutions on us.

What will I study?

There are five topic areas covered over the two-year course:

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods (year 1) - this topic examines the function and role of education in society and the impact of educational policy changes over time. Within this topic area, students will also examine a range of research methods and their relationship with sociological theory

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology: Culture and Identity (year 1) - within this topic area students will examine the key influences on human behaviour, from our genetic make-up, to our environmental experiences.

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology: The Media (year 2) - students will examine and evaluate the role and influence of the owners of the media and what safeguards are in place to prevent bias or harmful information reaching the public. They will also examine the impact of globalisation on the media and the influence on British culture.

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (year 2) - this option examines the nature of crime, deviance, social order and social control. Areas covered include: globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes

How will I study?

Sociology deals with current events in our society and the rest of the world, so you will need a keen interest in current affairs, including political issues. During lessons there are a variety of activities, for instance, note taking, pair work, class discussions and skills-based activities. Directed study activities outside of the lesson time include: reviewing sociological, political and psychological articles, preparation for lessons (reading, watching documentaries, TV and films which are relevant), research and exam practice. You will also be encouraged to develop your presentational and debating skills.

How will my work be assessed?

Assessment mirrors the key skills required to be successful in the final examinations. This will include short answer knowledge questions, and essay questions, where the focus will be analysis and evaluation. These assessments will be set regularly in class and for homework.

Final external assessment: 100% examination – 3 equally weighted written papers at the end of year two.

Entry requirements: to study Sociology at A-Level, you need to have achieved a grade 6 in English and in a Humanities subject at GCSE.