For any student faced with a daunting choice of A-levels Sociology will appear a strange and new subject. Most people have no idea what it is all about. Sociology takes a fresh look at the world around us and asks questions about social life which most people take for granted.
Percentage of total A level mark: 40%
Method of assessment: 2 hours and 30 minute examination paper, which consists of:
This paper offers students an opportunity to explore the social influences on behaviour and the acquisition of identity. It focuses on the changing structure and relationships within the family asking questions such as “Have we fallen out of love with marriage?” as well as investigating the winners and losers in the education system.
Percentage of total A level mark: 20%
Method of assessment: 1 hour and 45 minute examination paper with one compulsory question divided into four parts. This is based on stimulus material and one question will involve an extended writing piece where the students have to design, justify & evaluate a piece of sociological research
This paper offers the students an opportunity to investigate sociological research methods used in Sociology from questionnaires to participant observation to data-triangulation.
Percentage of total A level mark: 40%
Method of assessment: 2 hours and 30 minute examination paper which includes:
This paper offers students the opportunity to discuss some of the most intriguing and compulsive areas of Sociology – that of social inequality and crime and deviance. Students will investigate social inequality in attempt to come to a conclusion about why it exists and the extent to which it exists. They will attempt to answer questions such “Do we live in a classless society?” In addition students will investigate the trends and patterns of crime and attempt to explain these, answering questions such as “Is crime a working class activity?” and “Is the criminal justice system racist?”
Students might consider Psychology, Politics, History, Law, Media Studies, Business Studies or English Language and Literature as AS alternatives or they could take a BTEC Certificate course in Health and Social Care and combine it with Sociology.
Very few students who take Sociology at A level have ever studied the subject before, so there is a significant introduction into what Sociology actually is at the start of the course. Students will develop a number of skills by taking this subject, including an ability not only to understand important changes to the Family and Education in Britain today but also to examine this material critically.
The examination of research methods provides an opportunity to apply this knowledge to an area of study, notably education, and to analyse the value of a particular research method. Students with A level Sociology move into a number of related professions including the Police, Nursing, Management, Social Work, Probation Work, Teaching and Law.
The study of Crime and Deviance will give students the opportunity not only to examine the contemporary patterns of crime within British society but also to examine the reasons behind these. It provides a fascinating introduction to the area of Criminology.
The study of Social Inequality offers students the opportunity to examine the class system as well as investigate continuing gender and ethnic differences and disadvantages in contemporary society.
Students will also have the opportunity to develop their understanding of research methods.
The subject is very popular with students and most will take it further onto the A2 and some onto degree level. This has been reflected in many of the comments made at the close of the course:
‘I have enjoyed my first year at Loreto, especially Sociology, and will be carrying it on at A2. I am looking forward to next year.’
‘Sociology is an interesting course, I enjoyed it. Also different teaching methods were used which made it easier to learn.’
‘The course is excellent.’
‘The AS was brilliant. Staff are helpful and know how to teach the course.’