Sociology - A Level
Special Entry Requirements:
In addition to the A Level entry requirements you will need a grade 5 in GCSE English Language.
Sociology is the scientific study of society and human behaviour, and you will investigate how living in a particular society affects people. Imagine the difference between being born in Britain or the USA or a tribe in the rain forest – and also how lives are influenced by such factors as social class, sex, race, and age. Sociology is very much a “discussion subject”, and your opinions are valued on the really important issues of today: teenage gang crime, environmental crimes, domestic violence, immigration, Islam in the UK, globalisation, use of new media and technology, and many more. In Sociology you will focus on statistics as well as the previous work of sociologists and their theories.
- Sociology is broadly an arts subject, which is to say that the emphasis is on discussion and on the balancing of different arguments in a logical fashion. However, the subject also involves systematic research
- Sociology means the study of society and of the different groups which make up society – the two sexes, different age groups, races and ethnic groups, different social classes
- The main focus of attention is UK contemporary society
- All modules are assessed by written exams, so your written English needs to be good
- You will learn the skills of social research – questionnaires, interviews and observation
In the first year you will be introduced to the fundamental ideas of Sociology by concentrating on the process of ‘socialisation’ – how people learn the typical attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour of a particular society. We consider socialisation and differentiation (the different groups in society) in relation to families and households and education. For example, we investigate different family arrangements, the nature of childhood, the role and purpose of education, and reasons for educational underachievement. We also study sociological methods for example how to create a sociological-based study.
In the second year the first unit is either media or beliefs in society. Media examines such topics as new media, ownership, control of the media, globalisation and popular culture. You will also look at how the media represents gender, age, social class, ethnicity, sexuality and disability. For example, Wonder (2017) and how it explores societies’ response to visible disabilities and why this is the case. Beliefs in society examines such topics as New Age religion, cults and sects, the relationship between religion and wider society, religion and gender, religion and ethnicity and so on. For example, we might ask whether religious fundamentalism is on the rise, and what might be the reasons for this.
The second unit is the sociology of crime and deviance, which looks at issues such as green crimes, state crimes, social control, patterns and trends in crime and the role of the criminal justice system. This module also includes a section on sociological methods.
All modules are assessed by written examinations.
A level Sociology might lead you to study Sociology, Social Policy, Anthropology, Politics or a host of related disciplines at university. It provides a useful background for careers which demand an understanding of people in society, and so it is especially useful for jobs in social work, journalism, management, policy research, the police, the civil service, teaching/lecturing, law, voluntary work, charities, the probation service and so on.