Head of Department – Mrs B Brown
English Language – Grade 5 Sociology – Grade B (if studied at GCSE)
Examination Board: AQA (7191)
Introduction/General Advice and Requirements
Sociology is the study of the actions and interactions of people in groups. It is a fascinating subject as it looks at those issues which impact directly and indirectly on our lives.
Consider these issues:
- For every woman in prison there are 24 men
- 75% of divorce petitions are from females
- People from middle-class backgrounds live longer (on average) than those from working class backgrounds
- 70% of British citizens still affiliate with Christianity
- Women still get paid on average 20% less than men
Sociology is an academic subject in its own right and can equip you with the necessary knowledge and understanding to see where you fit into society and where you may want your career to lead. If you become a sociology student you will not be provided with quick answers. What you will discover is how to think about these issues for yourself: what are the questions behind the questions?
Generations of students have found that sociology makes them look at the world in new ways and this is why so many of us who teach it feel passionately about it – and why it is still pioneering after more than a hundred years.
To do sociology you need to be interested in such issues and have a desire to go beyond ‘common sense’ explanations. As a social science, sociology adopts rigorous methods of research and applies them to human behaviour. Sociology also relies heavily on essay writing as a form of assessment, therefore a good understanding of English language is essential for success.
Course Content & Assessment
During the First Year of the A Level we study 3 topic areas:
- The Family,
- Sociological Methods
During the Second year of the A Level we go on to study:
- Beliefs in Society,
- Crime and Deviance,
- Sociology Theory and Methods
Exam Paper Structure:
Paper 1 = Education with Theory and Methods (33.3%)
Paper 2 = The Family and Beliefs in Society (33.3%)
Paper 3 = Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (33.3%)
The study of sociology and the skills it encourages are useful in a variety of careers including those more directly connected with “social” studies such as teaching and social work but also careers such as health care, journalism and the media, the law, business management, personnel and public relations, the Police and the Armed Services. For those not thinking of careers in these areas, sociology is a useful subject in that it complements many other subjects.