Sociology seeks to understand all aspects of human social behaviour, including the social dynamics of small groups of people, large organisations, communities, institutions and society as a whole. Sociologists are motivated to better understand and improve people’s lives by using sociological research to inform the development of social policies to address social problems such as poverty, unemployment, crime and educational underachievement.
The central focus of the course is on UK society today, with consideration given to its globalised context. Students study approaches and methods related to the core areas of Sociology, to enable students to engage in theoretical debate and to encourage an active involvement with research. The overriding question throughout the course is whether society is a fair and equal system. Students develop a strong social awareness and the ability to identify and challenge inequalities and discrimination in society.
This is a challenging course that will provide knowledge, skills and awareness valued by employers, Higher education (HE) and offers life-long benefits. These skills include critical analysis and evaluation, independent thinking, communication skills and research skills. Studying sociology opens up a wide range of careers in areas such as welfare, health, education, social research, criminal justice system and local and central government.
End of Topic Tests
An hour long assessment on each topic
An essay style question that will utilise the previous weeks learning
A mock will be done of each of the papers with a moving on exam at the end of year 1 to assess all of Paper 1 content
While some sociology graduates enter work in a social or welfare role, there are also opportunities with a wide range of other employers throughout the public and private sector. Employers include:
- Charitable, counselling and voluntary organisations
- Law firms
- Local and central government
- Media companies
- Marketing and PR firms
- The NHS
- Police and probation services
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Social and market research organisations
- Human Resources
- Forensic Psychology
- Business Development
- Occupational therapy
Sociology A-Level – AQA
The Sociology department offers a large number of enrichment activities at lunchtime or after school. These include:
- Attendance at the annual True Life Conference to allow students to hear the stories of ex-offenders and understand the impact of crime on both offenders and wider society.
- Tutor2U workshops to support learning and raise aspirations, court visits, guest speakers.
- Students are given the opportunity to act as student ambassadors for the subject and to promote sociology at open days and workshops.
- Links with leading local universities
- Visiting speakers from academia and industry.
- Access to monthly Sociology Review journal.
Five ways to help your child:
- Visit research the British Sociological Association website for more information about opportunities and current research: https://www.britsoc.co.uk/what-is-sociology/
- Visit tutor2U for a range of introductory videos on theory and methods including contemporary issues https://www.tutor2u.net/sociology/videos. Visit the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for examples of contemporary research https://www.jrf.org.uk/
- Reading around the subject from a standard sociology book will give you a head start on the course. For exam board specific books please contact the sociology department for suggestions. There are a range of good A level websites that are also very useful such as Sociology Central, Revise Sociology and Earlham Sociology.
- Enrol with OpenLearn which offer free relevant introductory courses in both the Education and Development section and the Society, Politics and Law section.
- Engage in wider reading of good quality newspapers and watch documentaries relevant to the core topics below. Newsnight and Question Time are useful to develop social awareness of current debates.