Sociology A-Level



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Course information download


Qualification Level: GCE Advanced Level

Qualification Duration: 2 years

Exam Board: OCR

Intro: Sociology is the study of society.  Sociologists are interested in how societies work and the ways in which individuals, groups and institutions are interrelated.  In sociology we look at institutions such as the family, the media, religion and the education systems and ask questions about their structure, in whose interests they operate, and the effect that they have on individuals and on society as a whole.  We are also interested in areas of social concern such as crime, divorce and poverty, and try to explain these issues and how they impact on individuals and society.  Inequality is a key focus of sociology, and sociologists look at how factors such as class, gender, ethnicity and age impact an individual’s life chances.

Course content (Download Learning Journey here)

  1. Socialisation, culture and identity
  • Socialisation, culture and identity – this component introduces you to the key themes of socialisation, culture and identity.  You will explore different cultures within the UK and around the world, look into the process by which we learn about our society, and consider how our identities are shaped
  • Youth subcultures – this section focuses on youth as an important period in the socialisation process.  It allows you to explore different types of youth culture and the roles they play in shaping identities and in wider society
  1. Researching and understanding social inequalities
  • Research methods – this section introduces you to the range of methods and sources of data used in sociological research.  You will then apply these methods to the study of social inequalities.
  • Understanding social inequalities – this section enables you to explore the range of social inequalities in society.  You will social inequalities by class, gender, age and ethnicity.
  1. Debates in contemporary society
  • Globalisation and the digital social world – this section looks at the process of globalisation and the impact it has had on our world.  You will explore this by investigating the impact that new technology has had on society, especially around concepts such as social media.
  • Crime and deviance – this section involves the detailed study of crime and deviance in the UK and around the world.  You will explore patterns and trends with crime, explanations for crime, and look at methods to reduce crime.

Topics 1 and 2 (research methods) are covered in year 1.  Topics 2 (understanding social inequalities) and 3 are covered in year 2.

Assessment comprises three exams with a range of short and long answer questions as well as source based questions.  An awareness of the application of sociology to the real world will be required.


Trips and other costs:

  • Text books for each year are £22.
  • Philip Allen run sociologically relevant conferences which we will attend if there is availability.  Tickets normally cost £25 with additional transport costs on top.
  • Other trips may become available and students will be informed of the cost in advance.

Career and further study:

A Sociology A level helps to prepare you for the learning experience at university.  It is a highly academic subject that will develop the skills you need for degree level study.  You will learn to work independently, research and extract information that is important and turn this into an argument.  Studying Sociology will provide you with skills required for a range of careers.  Careers that Sociology students have entered into include journalism, psychology, criminology, anthropology, international relations, legal professions and a range of others.