Sociology

Curriculum Intent

Students learn fundamental research skills which are useful for studying social sciences. This gives students a foundation of sociological theory and an understanding of how sociological theory is created. They also learn how to think critically about sociological theory.

Students engage with topics within sociology such as families and households, education, crime or beliefs as it is something they have had an experience of; making it accessible. The foundational knowledge of research methods ensures they can apply sociological theory and understand how research was used to create it.

Students find their position on a continuum of debates. This includes considering whether sociology is scientific, whether our behaviour is a result of society’s structures or our own free will, whether we are living in a modern or a postmodern society. Students apply this theoretical knowledge to the topics studied in both year one and year two of sociology.

Topics in sociology KS5 leave students with an ability to explore various aspects of society in a critical way understanding human behaviour from a range of different perspectives.

Staff in the Sociology department are passionate about offering an engaging, contemporary curriculum which students enjoy and excel at. We teach the subject in a variety of ways and where possible include opportunities for learning outside the classroom, for example visits to conferences, exhibitions and museums. In return it is vital that students treat staff and fellow students with respect. This is particularly important due to the sensitive nature of some elements of the course. An interest in society and the inequalities which exist helps students get the most out of their studies, as is a willingness to work independently and engage in wider reading and research.


Facilities

  • Specialist teaching classrooms
  • A wide range of reading material
  • Past issues of Sociology Review

A level Sociology

Course details

The course is designed to enable students to:

  • Understand how society is currently functioning and how it is changing.
  • Learn new concepts and theories that help you gain a deeper understanding of social life.
  • Test and evaluate the way Sociologists gather their data.
  • Be able to understand you own identity, roles and responsibilities within society.
  • Continue to be interested in social issues for the rest of their life.

Students study the following content:

  • Education – different types of schools, how they are run, who underachieves and why, how politics affects schools, students and teachers.
  • Families and households – different types of family, how the family structure is changing and why this is, what impact this is having on individuals and society, what ‘family life’ is like for women, men and children.
  • Beliefs in society - ideology, science and religion, including both Christian and non-Christian religious traditions the relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice
  • Crime and Deviance – different explanations of why people commit crimes, patterns of gender, ethnicity and class in crime, how crime is presented in the media, social forms of control, prevention and punishment measures, the criminal justice system.
  • Theory – consensus, conflict, structural, social action, interpretivist, feminist and postmodernist theories, questions about the nature of Sociology: is it a science? Should it influence the law? Can it be value-free?
  • Methods – How sociologists gather their data: which methods and samples they use and how they choose which of these is best.
Link to course specification

Assessment

Exam (2 hrs)

Education with methods in context

33.3% of the

qualification

Exam (2 hrs)

Families and households and beliefs in society

33.3% of the

qualification

Exam (2 hrs)

Crime and deviance with theory and methods

33.3% of the

qualification

Enrichment opportunities

Student learning is enhanced by making use of the recommendation list of powerful documentaries and films, and also by keeping up to date with current affairs and news programmes. Students are encouraged to subscribe to ‘Sociology Review’, a quarterly magazine full of cutting-edge sociological research. The department also organise trips, for example to Criminology Conferences, and has had speakers such as magistrates and feminists, visit the school.

Student quotes

“Sociology was worth studying because it made me more aware of the way society acts and why people believe what they believe. I particularly liked exploring gender and ethnic identities and how status can be used to marginalise others. Sociology has broadened my view by making me question things I see and hear in everyday life. It has also introduced me to many interesting theories and views that I plan on exploring further at university.” 

Progression

The skills and independence students develop highly valued in both the workplace and higher education. Popular career paths for sociology students include teaching, police, social work, youth work, probation work, marketing, journalism, human resources management and counselling. Nurses and other health professionals often study Sociology as part of their training

Useful Links

 

 

Bronze School Mental Health Award