Course Description

Sociology is the study of how society is organised and how we experience life. If you are interested in the wider debates such as how social class, gender and ethnicity can have an impact on your chance of success, then Sociology may be for you. Sociology is a subject that is valuable in any career, it is the study of society after all.

Entry Requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 5/4, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 5/4 or above. Or eight GCSEs at a minimum of grade 5.

Features of the Course

Families and Households: This topic acts as an introductory unit to the course and focuses on the study of how families and households have changed since industrialisation. We uncover why family dynamics have changed so much. The days of entering marriage upon arriving into adulthood have evaporated for the majority of us and we ask how this has shaped family dynamics in the 21st century. Has change been for the greater good?

Education with Research Methods in Context: Is the education system working for our pupils? Does class, gender and ethnicity really define our educational success? The education unit provides an insight into the behavioural and cultural norms which represent successful educational traits. We will ask why certain groups are more likely to adopt these attitudes than others. In tandem with the education module, you will discover how sociologists produce evidence to justify their views. Should research take the form of personal interactions or studying general statistical patterns? You will uncover the benefits and validity of each.

Crime and Deviance: This unit will give you an insight into the mind of a criminal. You will debate whether the justice system should treat offenders with a punitive or rehabilitative emphasis. Interestingly, we will ask what the conventional criminal looks like. You may well be surprised!

Media: How influential is the media in defining our behaviour? Is the media beneficial in a democracy or does it just preserve the interests of elite groups? How about the new media? Has it enriched our lives or does it cause distraction, conflict and distress? The media unit is a highly contemporary unit which you will instantly relate to.


Assessment is by external examination and comprises of three compulsory exams:
Paper 1: Education with Research methods
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology – Families and Media
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with theory and methods

Exam Board: AQA

Enrichment and Work Experience

There will be opportunities throughout the year to attend visits to enhance your employability skills. The Sociology Department offers a trip to London to experience the Jack the Ripper tour. There will also be opportunities to visit Media City and to attend AQA approved workshops to fine-tune academic skills. You will be expected to complete a one-week work placement in the Summer term.

Additional Information

Students are expected to keep up-to-date with current affairs including, changes in policies and the news and to be actively involved in contributing in discussions and debates on families, education, media and crime and deviance.

Links With Other Subjects

Sociology combines well with a range of subjects including: Politics, Religion, Ethics and Philosophy, Psychology, Business, Health & Social Care, and Law.

Future Career Opportunities

Sociology is important for any career involving the general public including: teaching, police, social work, healthcare work or human resource management; as well as market research and social science research.

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

Sociology is taught in a dynamic and stimulating way, offering students an exciting and effective experience of learning. Teaching staff offer a wide range of support to students throughout the year.

A Level Sociology is regarded as a highly academic subject and is well respected by employers and universities alike. We have excellent links with prestigious universities and progression rates to higher education are high.