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Luton Sixth Form

Sociology (A Level)

Why study Sociology? 

Sociology is the critical study of society. Students of sociology are invited to explore the interaction between individual and society in terms of the way in which social institutions such as the family, education, mass media, religion and the economy
influence the way in which individuals behave as members of society. Sociology will encourage you to develop critical insights into the way in which society operates. You will be encouraged to consider the various ways in which sociologists attempt
to research society including observation techniques, interviewing, social surveys and personal documents. This is a great opportunity to gain important insights into the way individuals are influenced by social factors.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4

No previous knowledge of Sociology is required.

The Course

Sociology explores the major social institutions including education, family life, religion and the economy. Students will explore competing theoretical accounts and the problems which confront sociologists in their attempts to research and explain society.
The course will draw upon both local and global examples. All course units will examine the impact of ethnicity, gender and social class.

Course Activities

Learning will involve research activities, presentations, debating and a range of classroom games. Students will be encouraged to develop academic skills including written and oral contributions. You will work in teams and develop sociological research strategies and carry them out exploring contemporary social issues relating to crime, education, family life and faith. The course draws upon media sources for analysis including: film, music, advertising and TV. Students will be encouraged to share ideas and work together in developing important skills of evaluation. We recommend that you devote 4.5 hours of private study time per week to this subject.

Career and Progression Opportunities

Sociology students often aim to develop careers working in the community and progress to take career routes in social work and probation work. Sociology is also relevant to a range of professional roles including legal work, teaching and management.
The subject is recognised by all universities and can be included for entry into degree courses ranging from Psychology to Business.

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course. The syllabus is divided into three equally-weighted components, and assessment is entirely by examination.

Module title and content Assessment

Paper 1: Education with Research Methods
The study of education explores the various processes which determine educational outcomes. This will include a consideration of factors within the school and factors relating to home background. Educational outcomes will be analysed in relation to social class, ethnicity, gender, pupil subcultures and labelling. Students will be invited to consider the application of research methods in the study of education and social issues in general. This will involve the evaluation of contrasting research methods which will be explored in the classroom.

Two-hour written
examination (80 marks).

  • Education is assessed by short answer questions and extended
    writing (50 marks).
  • Theory and Methods is assessed by a methods in context question (20 marks) and extended writing (10 marks).

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology
Families and Households: This topic explores the link between
family and society. This will involve looking at the diversity of family
life and related topics such as marriage, divorce and demographic
Beliefs in Society: Late modern society is characterised by a
range of different belief systems. This unit will explore different
theories of religion, science and ideology. The significance of
religion in the contemporary world will be examined in relation
to secularisation including the impact of sects, cults and new age

Two-hour written
examination (80 marks).

  • Families and Households is assessed by extended writing
    (40 marks).
  • Beliefs and Society is assessed by extended writing (40 marks).

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Method
In the contemporary world much attention is given to the problem of crimes ranging from gangs to financial fraud and state crimes of torture.
This unit will examine different sociological accounts of criminality and deviance. The influence of the mass media and globalisation will also be considered. The study of suicide and the wider issue of researching crime will be used as examples.
The unit offers students the opportunity to explore sociological theory and method in greater depth and in relation to debates
concerned with science, value freedom and the influence of postmodernism.

Two-hour written
examination (80 marks).

  • Crime and Deviance is assessed by short answer questions and
    extended writing (50 marks).
  • Theory and Methods is assessed by extended writing (30 marks).

Additional Information

Examination Board: AQA



Case Study