Sociology

The Sociology department is well resourced and caters to the students’ individual needs. Students have access to a wide range of contemporary readers, including the British Sociological Journal, recent research studies, newspaper articles and the New Internationalist.

At Key Stage 5, students follow the contemporary AQA syllabus, which covers Culture and Identity, Education, and Research Methods at AS Level and Power and Politics, Crime and Deviance and Research Methods at A2 Level. Students are encouraged and supported to engage with exciting critical, abstract debate. A Level Sociology is a popular and growing subject.

GCSE Sociology

At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to study GCSE Sociology. Students will explore a variety of topics within society, these include: education, family, power, media and crime. Students will also be expected to understand and explain how to carry out sociological research; this will be achieved through the ‘Studying Society’ unit.

The GCSE course is 100% examination, this comprises of two, one and a half hour examinations, and both papers carry 50% of the total marks.

GCSE Sociology is a demanding and fascinating two year course, which requires students to develop a diverse selection of skills when interpreting and analysing different social issues in modern society.

Year 10

  • Studying Society - students will be able to show some understanding of the different theories and they will also be aware that different explanations exist on the nature of society.
  • Education - students will be aware of education as a political issue and will able to begin to explain both, why educational reforms have been made, and criticisms of these reforms.
  • Family - students will become aware of cultural diversity, migration and changing working patterns as influences on marriage and the family in Britain. They will be able to understand that an individual might live in many different family situations during a lifetime and will be able to explain important changes that are taking place in family structures, e.g. the increase in single person households.

Year 11

  • Crime and Deviance - students will be aware of the ways in which criminal and deviant behaviour has generated public debates in recent years. They will understand the nature and significance of social problems such as racism and teenage crime and begin to apply theory to explain patterns in crime.
  • Mass Media - students will be able to identify the mass media and outline the major characteristics of this means of communication. They will be able to highlight theoretical criticisms of the mass media.
  • Power - students will be aware of the ways in which governments have attempted to alleviate social problems, such as those associated with discrimination, including: the ageing population, unemployment and poverty. Students will be able to explain the different political positions in debates about the Welfare State. They will be able to explore the different power relationships in ‘everyday’ situations, such as those between employees and employers; children, parents, schoolteachers and other children; members of the public and the police.

Title

Exam board

Exam code

Content

Sociology

AQA

4192

Year 10

Term 1

Studying Society / Family

Term 2

Family / Education

Term 3

Education / Crime

Year 11

Term 1

Crime /Power

Term 2

Power / Media

Link to specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/sociology/gcse/specification-4190/spec-at-a-glance

A Level Sociology

At Key Stage 5, students are given the opportunity to continue with AS Level Sociology.

Students of A Level Sociology will acquire the essential knowledge and understanding of central aspects of sociological thought and methods, together with the application of a range of skills. It allows students to integrate sociological themes, such as: socialisation, culture and identity, and social differentiation, power and stratification. A Level Sociology is both challenging and intriguing.

Both AS and A2 Level Sociology is 100% examination. The AS Level Sociology course includes: two units, Culture and Identity (40%) and Education with Theory and Methods (60%). A2 Level Sociology includes: four units, Culture and Identity (20%), Education with Theory and Methods (30%), Power (20%) and Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (30%).

Year 12 - AS Sociology

Students study two units.

The first unit is Culture and Identity covering:

  • Different conceptions of culture, including subculture, mass culture, high and low culture, popular culture and global culture
  • The socialisation process and the role of the agencies of socialisation
  • Sources and different conceptions of the self, identity and difference
  • The relationship of identity to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, sexuality and social class in contemporary society
  • Leisure, consumption, and identity

The second unit is Education with Theory and Methods covering:

  • The role and purpose of education, including vocational education and training, in contemporary society
  • Differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society
  • Relationships and processes within schools; with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning
  • The significance of educational policies, including selection, comprehensivisation and marketisation, for an understanding of the structure, role, impact and experience of education
  • The application of sociological research methods to the study of education

Year 13 - A2 Sociology

Students study two units.

The first unit is Beliefs in Society covering:

  • Different theories of ideology, science and religion, including both Christian and non-Christian religious traditions
  • The relationship between religious beliefs and social change and stability
  • Religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice
  • The relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices
  • The significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature 

The second unit is Crime and Deviance with Theory Methods covering:

  • Different theories of crime, deviance, social order and social control
  • The social distribution of crime and deviance by age, ethnicity, gender, locality and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime
  • Globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the mass media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes
  • Crime control, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies
  • The sociological study of suicide and its theoretical and methodological implications
  • The connections between sociological theory and methods and the study of crime and deviance