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Courses

Sociology A Level

Course Description

Sociology is the study of how society is organised and how we experience life. Sociology can open up your mind and change the way in which you view society and the groups that exist within it; the course provides opportunities to study many interesting aspects of society.

Entry Requirements

Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade 7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 4 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4.

Course Content

We follow the AQA specification and you will study the following:

Families and Households: This topic acts as an introductory unit to the course and it 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 twenty-first 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

Externally assessed, comprising of 3 compulsory exams: Paper 1: Education with Research Methods (2 hours), Paper 2: Topics in Sociology – Families and Media (2 hours), Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (2 hours). You will also be internally assessed throughout the two years, providing you with the ability and confidence towards the final exams.

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 also have the opportunity 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.  Students will be expected to contribute to discussions and debates on the families, education, media and crime and deviance.

Links with other subjects: Sociology combines well with a range of subjects, including Politics, Religious Studies, Psychology, Health & Social Care and Law.

Future Career Opportunities

Sociology is a subject that can be valuable in any career, it is the study of society after all! More specifically Sociology can provide career opportunities within both the private and public sector, including social work and teaching. Employment which involves developing social policy and working within Government. In addition, employment and careers within media and the marketing sector. It is a very people subject.

Why Study at BSFC?

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 Sociology students throughout the year.