Curriculum - Sociology

Sociology is a subject to be studied if you are interested in social life, the world, cultures and community in which we live. If you want to understand what makes this or any other society possible; or why most of us conform to rules and norms as if they were fixed; or what lies behind everyday interactions between individuals and groups, then Sociology may be for you. Sociology is about social relationships. We try to understand how individuals behave in groups/institutions like the family, school, etc. In addition we try to identify the ways in which membership of certain groups, over which the individual may exercise very little control, exerts a profound influence over his/her life. Sociology will not give you all the answers but it will ask some very interesting questions such as:

Why do we all conform to society’s rules?

Why are boys under performing at GCSE?

Is ‘childhood’ disappearing?

Why do women commit less crime than men?

Why do young people join gangs?

Why is the divorce rate increasing?

Are ethnic groups represented differently in the media?

Is the nuclear family (2 adults, 1.6 children) universal?

Which research method is best to use for any given topic of study?

The Department

Mr Barr

Head of Social Sciences Faculty

Mrs Walker

2nd in Faculty - Head of Psychology & Sociology

Mrs Allen

Mrs Symington

Ms Walker

Ms Williams

GCSE Sociology

Exam Syllabus

 

AQA Sociology (8192)

 

What will I study?

 

Sociology is a subject to be studied if you are interested in the world, culture, society and community in which we live.  You will study:

 

The sociological approach:

Sociological terms and definitions / Sociological debates – consensus v conflict / Sociological changes over time / Sociologists – Durkheim, Marx and Weber / Sociological perspectives – Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism and Interactionism

 

Social structures, social processes and social issues:

• Families: Functions of families / Family forms / Conjugal role relationships / Changing relationships within families / Criticisms of families / Divorce

• Education: Roles and functions of education / The relationship between education and capitalism / Educational achievement / Processes within schools

• Crime and deviance: The social constructionism of crime and deviance / Social control / Criminal and deviant behaviour / Data on crime

• Social stratification: Functionalist theory of stratification / Socio-economic class / Life chances / Poverty as an issue / Power and authority / Power relationships

 

Sociological research methods

Research design / Quantitative and qualitative methods / Different types of data / Primary and secondary sources / Interpretation of data / Practical issues / Ethical issues

 

How will I be assessed?

 

Two written examinations:

Paper 1: The sociology of families and education 50% [1hr 45m /100]

Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification 50% [1hr 45m /100]

 

What skills will I need to be successful on this course?

 

There are four essential skills in Sociology:

•   Being able to consider the viewpoints of different Sociologists

•   Being able to evaluate such viewpoints

•   Being able to write expressively and sometimes in essay form

•   Being able to participate in class discussions.

 

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods.

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods.

AO3: Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods in order to construct arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions.

 

 

Head of Subject: Mrs V Walker

A-Level Sociology

Why should I study AS/A-Level Sociology?

Sociology is a subject to be studied if you are interested in social life. If you want to understand what makes this or any other society possible; or why most of us conform to rules and norms as if they were fixed; or what lies behind everyday interactions between individuals and groups, then Sociology may be for you. Sociology is about social relationships. We try to understand how individuals behave in groups/institutions like the family, school, etc. In addition we try to identify the ways in which membership of certain groups, over which the individual may exercise very little control, exerts a profound influence over his/her life. Sociology will not give you all the answers but it will ask some very interesting questions such as:

 

• Is the nuclear family (2 adults, 1.6 children) universal?

• Why are boys underachieving at GCSE level nationally?

• Who commits crime & why?

• Which research method is best to use for any given topic of study?

 

The aim of AS/A-level Sociology is to go beyond common sense explanations, taking a more academic approach towards an understanding of various theoretical perspectives and different research methods. If you are interested in society, if you have an enquiring mind and you want to examine how we live today, then Sociology is for you. There is also the opportunity for students to apply the theories and issues learnt in Sociology to significant historical events on departmental trips, such as the residential trip to Poland (visiting Auschwitz).

 

What will I study in AS/A-Level Sociology?

A wide range of topics will be taught from the AQA Sociology specification:

Families and Households

Education

Beliefs in Society (Religion)

Crime and Deviance

Theory & Methods

 

How will I be assessed?

AS:

Paper 1: Education with Methods in Context - short answer and extended writing questions (1hr 30m)

Paper 2: Research Methods and Topics in Sociology - short answer and extended writing questions (1hr 30m)

A-Level:

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods – short answer and extended writing questions (2hrs)

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology - extended writing questions (2hrs)

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods - short answer and extended writing questions (2hrs)

Nb. The AS and A-level are now stand-alone qualifications!

 

What can it lead to?

In Higher Education, almost all British Establishments offer Sociology both as a single honours degree subject and in combination with other subjects, which could lead to pure/academic/applied research. Vocationally, sociology is considered an advantage in occupations involving dealing with people, (and can be part of the training required to enter such professions) e.g. management, teaching, the police force, nursing, social work, public administration, politics, journalism and advertising.

 

Is there anything I can do before I start the course?

Ensure that you are up to date on current sociological issues by regularly reading a quality newspaper as well as watching relevant documentaries on television. It is also important that you read around the subject, using the Study Centre or ask members of the Sociology department for further guidance.

 

For further details contact: Mrs V Walker

 

Long Term Plan

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Long Term Plans for Sociology can be downloaded here