The sociologist’s aim is to understand and explain how societies work and why they change. Sociology is the study of human societies and of human behaviour in social settings.
It uses social categories (such as class, gender, age, or ethnicity), and various social institutions (such as family, the media, education, politics, or crime) to look at how humans interact with each other. Subject topics can range anywhere from race, religion, social class, crime and law, the media and education to more theoretical issues such as the impact of social policy and radical change to whole societies. Sociologists across the globe use a critical eye to analyse sensitive social issues such as these and play an integral role in policy change and development.
As well as deepening and broadening students' understanding of Sociology, the A Level course aims to develop skills such as debate and discussion, critical thinking, analysis and evaluative essay writing.
Key Stage 5
Most students will not have studied Sociology before beginning their A Level, so the course aims to introduce them to the way in which UK society has changed and how different groups of people behave. By grasping key concepts, such as socialisation, culture and identity, and nature or nurture, they can develop their knowledge and understanding of the way in which individuals are shaped by the society in which they live and grow. This may be national and international communities, or smaller communities such as a school, church or family. Students will also study the range of different research methods and discuss considerations such as their validity and ethical considerations.
In their analysis of the behaviour of different groups in society, students will be able to apply theoretical issues, such as Functionalism, Marxism or Feminism, to the world around them. The course will enrich their cultural capital through the regular study and investigation of current issues and affairs, such as knife crime in London, rates of domestic abuse or educational performance of disadvantaged students at GCSE.
A Level Sociology gives you a strong foundation for further study of a range of academic subjects at degree level. It is a good foundation subject as the knowledge you learn can be applied to all aspects of society, and it provides a variety of academic skills especially thinking critically about the world. Sociology can lead to a job in a variety of careers such as teaching, social work and social policymaking, law, journalism and the civil service. Students who have completed this A Level have gone on to study a diverse range of courses at respected UK universities. These include: Criminology, Sociology, Anthropology, Law and Psychology.