Sociology

A Level

Course Entry Requirements

Five 9 – 4 grades at GCSE including a minimum of grade 4/C in GCSE English Language.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication; however, the College may need to make some changes  in light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

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What will I study?

Unit 1: Socialisation, culture and identity

An introduction to the key themes of socialisation, culture and identity which develops these themes through the context of one of three options. These options develop skills that enable you to focus on personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society and to develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

Section A: Introducing Socialisation, Culture and Identity

  • What is culture?
  • What is socialisation?
  • What is identity?

Section B: Option

  • Youth subcultures

Unit 2: Researching and understanding social inequalities

You will gain knowledge and understanding of contemporary social processes and social change in the context of social inequality and difference. You will develop understanding of the links between the nature of sociological thought and the methods of sociological enquiry.

Section A: Research methods and researching social inequalities

  • What is the relationship between theory and methods?
  • What are the main stages of the research process?
  • Which methods are used in sociological research?

 

Section B: Understanding social inequalities

  • What are the main patterns and trends in social inequality and difference?
  • How can patterns and trends in social inequality and difference be explained?

Unit 3: Debates in contemporary society

  • The relationship between globalisation and digital forms of communication.
  • The impact of digital forms of communication in a global context.

Section A:  This section provides you with the opportunity to consider developments in digital forms of communication within global society and how these developments are related to social capital. You will gain an overview of how Marxists, feminists and postmodernists view digital forms of communication and the impact of digital social communication – whether this is on people’s identity, social inequalities or relationships. You will also consider the impact on culture in terms of conflict and change, cultural homogenisation and culture defence.

Section B: Crime and deviance (this also includes a global aspect).

What skills do I need?

  • You need to have an interest in society and current affairs and other people.
  • We like students who have an opinion!
  • You need to be prepared to be critical and be prepared to debate and discuss a wide range of issues
  • You will need to be organised. You are expected to keep a file of your work which includes class notes, assessments, worksheets and information sheets and any other material you are issued for the course.
  • You must be prepared to read.
  • You also need to be able to present extended pieces of writing with a critical and evaluative tone.
  • You will need to consider ways of learning and remembering sociological terms and research.
  • You are expected to be able to do some work independently as you progress through the course. This skill is really important in helping you prepare for university or a career.

Examining Board

OCR


Why should I study this course?

The fascination of sociology lies in the fact that it makes us see, in a new light, the very world in which we have lived all our lives. It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is things are not what they seem. If you are interested in our society and want to find out why things such as inequality exist this course will interest you. If you have a curiosity about human beings and their lives you will find sociology interesting and rewarding. Sociology prepares you for a lifetime of change, developing an appreciation of diversity, love of learning, writing and study skills, as well as a knowledge base about human behaviour, social organisation, and culture.

Sociology will help you understand the connection between culture, identity and behaviour, why people stereotype and judge each other and how society affects our life chances and futures. As a subject it suits students who can see things from more than one point of view and who can present arguments well.  It is particularly useful for students who are studying subjects such as Law, Psychology, Business Studies, English, Media, Communication and Culture, History and Religious Studies.

 

How is the course assessed?

You will take a mock examination at the end of your first year of study. These examinations will be based on the content you have learned in year one. You will take 3 examinations at the end of year two based on the full two years of work. These are the only examinations that count towards the final A Level grade.

What will this course prepare me for?

People who study sociology go on into a wide variety of jobs. Sociology graduates nationally gain employment in management & administration, associate professional & technical areas; personal services; sales; and professional occupations, such as teaching, health, the police, prison and social work.

You will gain a range of very valuable skills. You will learn how to work independently. You will learn how to find information, extract what is important from it and turn it into an argument. You will learn to work in collaboration with others, but also how to work effectively without close supervision. Sociology involves learning about research methods so you will learn to conduct research both with others and on your own.

Private Study

You are expected to spend 4-5 hours each week on independent study.  You will be given advice on what to do during your independent study time but it will involve tasks such as reading, preparing for your lessons and reviewing what you have learnt. You will also be expected to access our VLE on a regular basis to support your learning.

What materials will I need to provide?

We supply you with most of the resources needed to study this course, including work books, extracts from research and text books.  You will have access to a wide variety of resources on Moodle including links to exam boards specifications, useful website links, video and text resources.  You are expected to provide your own writing materials including paper and pen and a file.  There are extensive resources available from the library that you can borrow but there is a list of recommended text books and reading on Moodle if you wish to purchase some of your own.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught by very experienced and qualified teachers. It is expected that you will have a maximum of two teachers over the two years.

You will learn how to find information, extract what is important from it and turn it into an argument. You will learn to work in collaboration with others, but also how to work effectively without close supervision.  You will use a wide variety of resources, and experience a broad range of activities and tasks in the classroom. We use workbooks to help you organise your learning and you are expected to write answers to exam-style questions to develop the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in the exams. You will watch extracts from films and documentaries to strengthen your understanding and will be able to conduct some sociological research tasks. Creative students are encouraged to make displays, mind maps and story boards to consolidate their knowledge. Please be prepared to work in teams on occasion.  Discussion and debate are encouraged.

 

A Level Sociology is for you if:

If you are interested in our society and want to find out why things such as inequality exist this is a course which will interest you. It could also be a good course for you if you can see things from more than one point of view and can present arguments well. It is particularly useful for students who are studying subjects such as Law, Psychology, Business Studies, English, Media, Communication and Culture, History and Religious Studies.