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Sociology comes under the Society department’s umbrella of subjects and is taught solely in the 6th form. The department is staffed by eight subject specialists. Sociology is often a brand new subject for students and we aim to open student’s eyes to the world that is often hidden from view, challenging perceptions and encouraging students to question what they see. Sociology is delivered through engaging, well-resourced lessons delivered in a variety of ways to incorporate different learning styles and to encourage independent learning.

In addition to the core lessons, teachers are on hand to deliver personalised support and guidance throughout the two years. We also offer a number of trips to consolidate learning; previous trips have included a few days in Berlin to study the impact of globalisation and communism, trip to London to visit Marx’s grave and trips to the Magistrates court in Wakefield.

Course Content

Year 12 Course Content (AS Level where applicable pre-reform)

Sociology has been through the reform set out by the government and therefore is a 2 year course, in which students will sit 3 exams at the end of Year 13. However at present students are being entered into the AS exam in Year 12 to assess their understanding of the course. Once this has been done students have the choice to continue into Year 13 and take new A level exams or leave the course with just the AS.

The content within Year 12 will cover the following topics:

Education:  We will examine the reasons as to why certain groups do well or underachieve in education, with specific focus on class, gender and ethnicity, exploring the internal and external factors.  The sociological theory behind this will also be explored from both a positive and negative perspective.  The impact of government policy will also be explored in relation to both the impact of class, gender and ethnicity and the sociological implications. Students must also be aware of the different methods that sociologists use to study education.

Families and Households: this looks at the relationship between families and households, examining the different family types, the changes that have occurred over the last 100 years and the impact and effect that this has on society.  During this unit students will also explore the division of labour and the impact that paid work and domestic violence can have on relationships, along with changes to the experience of childhood.  The sociology of the family will also be explored in theoretical terms.  Finally we will explore the relationship between the government, theory and social policy and the impact that this can have on family diversity. Throughout this unit the concept of globalisation will also be examined.

Methods:  We will examine the different methods of data collection that sociologists use, including strengths and limitations.  Methods include interviews, questionnaires, observations, case studies and statistics alongside primary and secondary data. Students will be encouraged to undertake their own research to help them develop the analytical and questioning skills needed for this course.

Year 13 Course Content (A Level where applicable pre-reform)

Beliefs and Society: here we will examine the relationship between beliefs and sociological theory, including the relationship between beliefs, ideology and science.  Different religious organisations will be explored including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements.  The relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices.  Finally the significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context will be explored.

Crime and Deviance:  We will examine the different theories of crime, deviance, social order and social control, exploring the distribution of crime and deviance by age, ethnicity, gender, locality and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime.  We will also examine the relationship between globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the mass media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes.  Finally crime control, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies.   The connections between sociological theory and methods and the study of crime and deviance. Students will also be further tested on their understanding of sociological theory in general and how this applies to our understanding of the world.

Theory and Methods: The relationship between theory and methods will be considered in much more detailed manner.  The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method and the conduct of research will be debated.  The idea that sociology can and should be a science will be discussed, alongside the relationship between sociological and social policy.  Finally we will consider whether sociology can ever be value free or value ladened.

Entry Requirements

Students must have a C in English in order to get on this course due to the essay writing skills that it demands.


Exam Board: AQA

Assessment and Examination for the AS level

The AS exam consists of two papers, Paper 1: Education with Methods in Context Paper 2: Research Methods and Families and Households. Each paper is worth 60 marks and lasts 1 hour 30 minutes.

Assessment and Examination for the A level

At the end of the two years students will sit three papers all lasting 2 hours consisting of a number of different question styles both short answers and essays, all equally weighted at 80 marks per paper.

Financial Information

You will need to purchase general stationery items, eg pens, paper, files etc. There will be a chance for students to take part in a visit to London in their A2 year which will cost approximately £100.

The Academy will not charge for books, materials, equipment and instruction in connection with the National Curriculum or Statutory Religious Education taught at school, except where parents have indicated in advance their wish to purchase the product.

Exam Charging Policy:

–  Students with less than 85% attendance may, under the discretion of the Sixth Form Office, be asked to pay for their exam entry.

–  Exam resits that are made at the request of the post 16 students will be charged at full price.

–  When it is not possible to obtain a refund, full price will be charged to students for:

    –  the Summer Exam entry, if they withdraw from the subject after 20 April.
    –  non-attendance at an exam without good reason.

BTEC students, who leave the Academy prior to the conclusion of the course, will be charged £50.

Future Opportunities

Due to its academic nature and essay writing demands sociology is a well-respected course by universities. It can provide a sound foundation for a wide range of courses in Higher Education. Many students move on to study sociology, social policy, law, human resource management, social work, probation, primary and secondary teaching and criminology. It can be also a great foundation for work within the police, teaching and social work.

Further Information

Sociology is for anyone who has an interest in examining the way we view the world and is an ideal choice for students looking for a career that involves working with people. Career possibilities include teaching, the police, social work, nursing, paramedics, journalism and human resources.

Sociology aims to open student’s eyes to the world that is often hidden from view, challenging perceptions and encouraging students to question what they see.

The Department is an expanding, well-resourced area with access to ICT. There will be many opportunities during the course for students to engage in both individual and group work. The well qualified, specialist teachers deliver the course through a mixture of formal teaching, group discussions, and individual tutorials.