How long does it last? Two years
Click here for a link to the Exam Board Specification

Students who take this course:

Students investigate the deeper reasons behind our everyday behaviour. They explore why people inhabit different social worlds in society, how people learn to be the sorts of people that they are, and why they conform or rebel or even become criminals. Students will need an open mind and at least Grade 6 in English Language GCSE and ideally either History or Geography as well.

Course Description:

Students use their own experience to examine how the society they live in works. They then test those ideas against the arguments and evidence put forward by thinkers and researchers – sociology is full of debates and disagreements! Students study how sociology tries to find ways to make society better, and they judge how far it has succeeded. Students also learn how to gather good quality data and how to make sense of it. They focus on a range of topics that allow different sorts of insight into society, described below.

Component 1: Socialisation and Culture
How do people learn to be who they are in the different cultures and subcultures they belong to? How important is your family, education and friends in your upbringing and development?

Youth Culture: Young people have their own groups, from pop culture to gang culture. What are these groups for, and how do they shape the developing young persons as they become adults? How have these groups changed over time, and are they now a thing of the past?

Media: We live in a world surrounded by the media and advertising. But who owns the media? Do they have a secret agenda? Are they influencing our lives and leading us to live our lives in a certain way? How are different groups in society portrayed on the media? Are these representations always fair and accurate?

Assessment: 40% of A Level. Exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Component 2: Research Methods
How do we research into society to understand what is happening and to make it better? How do we research into social groups, structures and processes in ways that are valid, reliable and ethical? How do re-searchers manage to investigate the powerful, the poor, the deviant and the criminals in society to reach deeper insights into how society works and how it is rapidly changing?

Assessment: 20% of A Level. Exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Component 3: Power and stratification in society
Different social groups in society have different amounts of power to achieve advantage or equality; for example, the rich, the poor, women and men, young people, minority groups. Why do these differences happen, and what are the consequences?

We then focus on one topic in depth, Crime & Deviance: Who is committing crime? Why do they choose to do this? Where is most crime committed? How should criminals be punished? Are our police always fair and balanced? How have politicians tried to solve the problem of crime? Can crime ever really be solved?

Assessment: 40% of A Level. Exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes