Sociology is the study of society. Throughout the GCSE we will look at the ways in which our behaviour, beliefs and identity are shaped by different social institutions and the world around us. Students will develop knowledge and skills so that they can investigate and critically analyse the social world, exploring issues such as gender, class, religion and crime. Studying sociology will allow you to explore controversial topics and to develop informed opinions based on knowledge and reasoning.
Introduction to social sciences, written exam - 1 hour
Paper 1, written exam - 1 hour 45 minutes
Paper 2, written exam - 1 hour 45 minutes
Studying Sociology will develop analytical, assimilation and communication skills by comparing and contrasting different perspectives on a variety of social issues. Students will learn how to use knowledge and understanding to construct reasoned arguments to reach substantiated conclusions. These skills are transferable to a range of careers including - but not limited to - the caring professions, the diplomatic service, education, the media, or the Criminal Justice System; it will certainly provide a new perspective on the social world in which we live.
Introduction to Society and Social Sciences
The first part of the course focuses on developing knowledge and skills essential for the study of Sociology, whilst linking to other social sciences that are only available at A-Level. Students will gain an introduction to law and society, politics and power, and sociology. The focus of the content will be around the central theme of the “Youth in Society.” This will enable students to build the necessary knowledge and understanding in a field of study they have not had the opportunity to study in Year 7 and 8.
The sociology of families
The sociology of education
Relevant areas of social theory and methodology
The sociology of crime and deviance
The sociology of social stratification
Relevant areas of social theory and methodology
For all units, students will use their own knowledge and understanding of the entire course to evidence deeper understanding of the above topics.
Miss C Lovatt – Head of Social Sciences
Sociology allows students to investigate and critically analyse the social world. In their study of society students will examine how society shapes their behaviour, beliefs and identity. They will discover how social institutions such as the education system, media, political parties, law, families and religion influence the process of identity formation and how people think and act. The subject will enable students to develop skills of research, analysis and evaluation together with the ability to, either written or verbally, communicate ideas and theories clearly, effectively and concisely.
The College expects students to have
Grade 5 or above in English.
Sociology students are found in a range of occupations such as the social services, education, the probation service, the media and law. Many of the skills acquired can be transferred to other occupations such as marketing, research and departments in local and central government.
Year 1: Education with Theory and Methods
Students begin the Sociology A Level by looking at basic concepts and themes in the study of society such as socialisation, culture, identity and social differentiation. After studying these concepts, the first year is spent considering the role and function of the education system in the UK. Students will examine, compare, analyse and evaluate the different educational achievements of different social groups e.g. by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society. They will study the relationships and processes in schools; and significance of government policies on the education system.
In addition, students will apply sociological research methods to their study of education whilst also looking at qualitative methods of research. They will examine the distinction between primary and secondary data and the relationship between different sociological methods. They will also look at a range of other issues including ethical issues, the nature of ‘social facts’; consensus and conflict theories; modernity and post-modernity and debates about subjectivity, objectivity and the relationship between Sociology and social policy.
Topics in Sociology - Families in Households
Students will also study the relationship of the family to the state and influences such as the economy and state policies. They will examine changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation, divorce, childbearing and the life course, including the sociology of personal life, and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures. They will study gender roles and the nature of childhood linking to demographic trends such as life expectancy, migration and globalisation.
Year 2: Topics in Sociology - Beliefs in Society
During the second year students will study Beliefs in Society where they will discuss issues such as “Is Sociology a Science?” and the significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world. They will investigate the relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations. Students will also investigate religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, emphasising the relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements.
Crime & Deviance with Theory & Methods
Alongside the study of Beliefs in Society, students will also investigate Crime and Deviance to discover the differences between crime and deviance and how they are linked to social order and social control. Students will study patterns and trends in crime; globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes; crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies in society.