This course is suitable for anyone who is interested in the study of societies. Sociology is one of the ‘social sciences’, a group that also includes Anthropology, Economics and Psychology. It attempts to describe and explain people’s social behaviour and seeks answers to questions such as: • How can millions of people live together and yet avoid chaos? • Under what circumstances do societies change? • Why are some rich while others are poor? • What are the causes of crime? • Are we really free or is our behaviour controlled? • Why do people commit suicide? • Do the mass media reflect opinions or do they create them? • Why is it men rather than women who seem to gain positions of power and influence? • What are the implications for society of increasing divorce and illegitimacy?
All students studying for A Level Sociology would be expected to have five GCSEs at grade C or above (grade 5 or above) in academic subjects, including GCSE English Language and Maths, of which two must be B grades (grade 6).
Students will start studying and exploring different sociological perspectives and linking these to one of the following modules:
1. The Family (Divorce, Domestic Violence, and Why are so many women opting to be child-free?)
2. Socialisation, Culture and Identity. (How do different cultures change society? How influential is our culture in shaping our identity?)
From January onwards, students will be studying Education Theory and Research Methods (including topics such as: Are girls really doing better than boys? How can teachers label students? How does your ethnicity or class affect your experience at school?). Students will use data throughout this module to support their answers. This will prepare students for their AS exam.
Upon meeting the minimum grade of a D to continue to A2, students will explore topics such as Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (Why do people commit suicide? Why is crime increasing? What makes people kill, rob or beat? Domestic Violence), again using supporting data to reinforce their arguments and opinion.
Students will then choose one of the following options to study:
1. Beliefs in Society (Why do people join cults? Why is fundamentalism increasing? Why are women de-valued in religion?)
2. Global Development (How has the world developed, how do companies control and influence us?)
3. The Media (How does the media influence and manipulate society).
Assessment is by examinations that may include short answer questions and extended writing.
Sociology is a subject that is accepted at all universities on most courses. Many students who take A Level Sociology go on to university to study it as their major choice.
Many students who undertake a career in social services, social policy, teaching, business, the civil service, the police, etc, find the study of sociology invaluable to their understanding.
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