A Level Sociology
“The fascination of sociology lies in the fact that its perspective makes us see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives.”
Sociology students at St Augustine's Catholic College will be curious and motivated to learn more about key sociological issues within British society. Sociology will help students to develop a greater understanding of both historic and contemporary social, political and legal changes and their implications for society. Sociology will enable students to recognise structural and cultural inequalities and encourage them to think critically about their own relationships, behaviours and identities.
Sociology is the study of the social world in which we all live and is therefore accessible and appealing to students of all abilities. Students will develop methodological skills learned in KS4 sciences and humanities and will apply literacy skills in extended writing tasks. Students are actively encouraged to draw on evidence from current affairs in their work and are challenged to apply this to evaluate existing sociological theory.
The AQA Sociology syllabus offers a range of interrelated topics where students examine the influence of key institutions on society, including education, families & households, the criminal justice system and religion. These institutions are considered through different sociological perspectives of Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Action Theories and Postmodernism.
The methods and theories covered in Sociology A level complement those in other related disciplines, including Psychology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Human Geography and History. Through-out the course, students are encouraged to make synoptic links within and between the subjects they study.
There is no complete theory of society and students will regularly face inconsistencies while studying this subject. They will be encouraged to be critical and will develop academic resilience through critical and creative thinking.
Cultural Capital, Transferable Skills and Careers
The Sociology curriculum aims to ensure that students can position themselves in the global society they are part of. The course develops transferable skills including self-confidence, effective verbal and written communication, critical analysis, evaluation and an awareness of social, political and economic social conditions. A successful student journey means a student is prepared for their future life; in sociology this means students embrace their ability to ask questions, enact change and serve their communities.
What will I study?
Unit 1: Education with Theory and Methods
In this unit we explore the possible hidden purposes of education; why different social groups experience school differently; the effects this has on achievement and the strengths and weaknesses of the different ways that sociologists collect their data.
Unit 2: Two Topics in Sociology
Families and Households:
Here we consider the sociology of the family - examine the issues of power and control within relationships; explore Feminist views on how the family continues to be oppressive to women; how childhood has changed and how government tries to subtly interfere in family life.
Beliefs in Society:
In this topic we look at the role of religion and belief in society. We explore different definitions of religion; examine the extent of secularisation; how religion is linked to social change; how religion is changing; how levels of religiosity vary between social groups and what might lead some to join a cult or a religious sect.
Unit 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
We look at the patterns and trends in crime and deviance; the role of the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes; crime control, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system.
In addition throughout the course we consider sociological theories, perspectives and methods such as Marxism, Feminism and Functionalism and the two core themes:
socialisation, culture and identity
social differentiation, power and stratification
All units are examined – there is no coursework.
Who will it suit?
If you are interested in social topics such as fairness and equality, enjoy current affairs or politics; or are interested in finding out more about how society works, about the causes of social problems and their potential solutions; then Sociology could be for you.
The course will help to develop a growing sense of social responsibility with an emphasis on how wider society and world issues influence our relationship with others. You should also have good written communication skills and the ability to both think and work independently.
What can I do with Sociology?
Sociology is an academically demanding subject regarded as an acceptable A Level by universities. A qualification in Sociology can lead to a wide variety of careers such as: Law, the police, teaching, journalism, personnel management, nursing, social work and marketing