A-level Sociology

A-level Sociology

Sociology is the study of people in social groups. Human beings are social animals who need others in order to survive and Sociology deals with how societies are constructed. It investigates patterns of human behaviour: of interaction and cooperation, inequality and conflict. It examines where our beliefs, routines and aspirations come from and how these are influenced by social factors. A-level Sociology is an interesting and worthwhile course in terms of general education. It encourages a knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary society and the processes and changes we are all subject to. As one student notes, “Sociology offers a chance to discover how brilliant you can be if you think critically”. Furthermore it stimulates a lifelong interest in social issues.
 
Entry Requirements
A good grasp of English is useful to both the discursive nature of the subject and the demands of essay writing. Students should be keen observers of human behaviour who love “people watching”. They should also be willing to challenge their own and other people’s preconceptions and should never be prepared to take things at face value.

Course Content

A-level: Integral Elements: Education / Culture and Identity / Crime and Deviance
 
Education
Students will be introduced to the research process and be able to examine the usefulness of conducting research, in various ways. They will be further introduced to sociological explanations of the following content: • The role and functions of the education system, including its relationship to the economy and to class structure • Differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society • Relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil Relationships, pupil identities and subcultures, the hidden curriculum, and the organisation of teaching and learning
 
Culture and Identity
The study of these topics should engage students in theoretical debates while encouraging critical thinking.
 
The following topics are studied;
• The socialisation process and the role of the agencies of socialisation
• The self, identity and difference as both socially caused and socially constructed
• The relationship of identity to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, sexuality and social class in contemporary society
• The relationship of identity to production, consumption and globalisation
 
Crime and Deviance
Students are expected to be familiar with sociological explanations of the following content:

• Crime, deviance, social order and social control
• The social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime
• Globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes
• Crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment, victims, and the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies.

Assessment

AS Level (1 year course)
Both papers are 90 minutes with a total of 60 marks.
Each paper is worth 50%
A-level (2 year course)
All three papers are 120 minutes with a total of 80 marks.
Each paper is worth 33.3%

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