Sociology is a rigorous academic subject that is also rooted in the real world. Sociology is the study of how society is organised and how we experience life. It has been taught in British universities since the very beginning of the twentieth century. Studying A level Sociology enables you to develop critical thinking skills, to analyse and interpret the world around you.
Some of the issues we have studied recently include the riots in some of our cities, the phone-hacking scandal, immigration into the UK, the reforms to GCSEs and A levels, the Arab Spring, Boko Haram, issues surrounding the World Cup and sexism in pop music! By taking the subject, you become a much more informed, questioning and critical citizen of society. Furthermore, you will take away from Sociology a completely different way of thinking about the world around you, and here is a promise: you will never look at that world in the same way again.
PAPER 1 – COMPULSORY – Education with Theory and Methods
• the relationships between class, gender and ethnicity and educational achievement.
• recent reforms to the educational system.
Theory and Methods:
• the nature of sociological thought.
• the methods of social enquiry.
Methods in Context.
PAPER 2 – OPTIONS – 2 options selected by the college
Families and Households:
• the different family structures over time and place and current trends regarding marriage and divorce.
• childhood and relationships between family members.
Beliefs in Society:
• critical awareness of contemporary social processes.
• the study of beliefs in society, why some societies are clerical and others secular.
• the extent to which religion can act as both a conservative force and as an agent of social change.
PAPER 3 – COMPULSORY – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
Crime and Deviance – This option focuses on debates in contemporary society through a detailed study of crime and deviance. The social construction of crime and deviance are considered and the ways in which crime is socially distributed, explained and reduced.
Theory and Methods – the nature of sociological thought, the methods of social enquiry.
Examining Board – AQA.
Special Entry Requirements
None, although essay writing skills are important. Standard A level entry requirements apply.
Career and Progression Opportunities
The independent study skills learnt in Sociology are an excellent preparation for University. Sociologists go on to work in the media, law and other institutions of criminal justice, public relations, market research, medicine and social work, foreign aid and development and teaching. Many of course are inspired to stay in an academic environment researching aspects of sociology for the remainder of their career.
We use a variety of teaching methods; lectures, discussion, student presentations, role-play, video material and study packs. Students must be prepared to read widely around the subject and to undertake independent study utilising the press, journals, television and radio.
Students may have the opportunity to attend a variety of courses and conferences during their two years of Advanced Level study.
There are no cost implications.
Complementary Subjects or Enrichment Courses
A level Sociology goes well with most subject combinations and you may find that skills learnt in Sociology can support you in other subject areas. Sociology works especially well as a complement to other essay-writing subjects such as History, Geography, Business Studies and Psychology. It is also considered to be an attractive option alongside science based subjects. In addition, students taking Health and Social Care may find elements of this course useful.
This course enjoys strong links with both Birmingham City University and the University of Leicester and students can benefit from visits and lectures by joining the Sociology Academy.
This information is correct for September 2019 entry.