Sociology

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society. Society does not operate in a random way and whether you get good GCSEs or a good job is not just about how intelligent you are but depends on the family you were born into, the place you live, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re black or white. Sociology studies those factors and asks how they influence people and how people influence society.

The course is split into two units:

Unit 1 includes ‘Studying Society’, where students learn about the key concepts of sociology and the methods sociologists use to find things out. It also includes a unit on Education and Family, exploring how Education and Family shape British society.

Unit 2 includes topics on Crime and Deviance, Media, Power and Social Class. Typical questions would be why do men commit more crime then women? What impact does social media have on society? Who has power in Britain? How does your social class affect your chances of having a good life?

Unit 3 is called ‘Applying sociological techniques’ and includes learning about sociological research .

How is Sociology taught?

As this is a new subject there will be a lot of new vocabulary to learn and in a sense a new way of thinking. There will be lots of discussion, some reading and students need to write mini-essays which will be practised in class.

We will also look at sociology in the media and students will be expected to become a sociologist and that will mean doing ‘active’ research.

How is Sociology assessed?

There are two exams, one on unit one and one on unit two. Each exam includes a mixture of short answers and essays. There is no controlled assessment. All marks are based on those final two written exams.

Key Stage 5

What will my child learn in A-Level Sociology

Sociology is a fascinating and very exciting study of how our society works and how people behave in various social groups and social situations. Studying Sociology will allow you to evaluate many of the most important issues and topics which affect our society today such as family, education, gender, ethnicity, religion, mass media and the class system.

When studying the family, you might discuss issues around: the different types of families we have in our culturally diverse society; why rates of divorce continue to rise; or, when studying education, why some groups do better than others, what it is about our education system that means some people fail whilst others succeed.

In order to understand the analysis of society you will learn about different research methods and their advantages and disadvantages e.g. surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations.

To do well in Sociology, you will need to keep up-to-date with current events by reading a quality newspaper and watching current affairs programmes. This course will help you look beyond everyday assumptions you might have about society. It will develop your ability to make sense of the world we live in. You will take part in lively discussions where you can bring your own views to subjects under debate. No previous knowledge of Sociology is required, however, a good standard of English is needed.