Can social division ever be eradicated? What leads people into a life of crime? And how has the internet transformed the structures and relationships in society?
Sociology asks big questions and examines connections within society. We are used to experiencing rapid changes that happen daily and by studying Sociology we can start to explore why some of these changes take place and what the implications are for us and others.
Throughout history, we have been asking big questions about how we organise our societies, questioning common sense assumption and sociologists have offered explanations and solutions that continue to shape our understanding of our surroundings, roles in society, relationships with others. Sociology is often known as history at present.
A Level in Sociology offers students a challenging, exciting and stimulating course that is widely recognised and highly respected by universities as well as employers. The course covers a range of relevant subjects with an emphasis on contemporary society, ranging from the influence of globalisation to the exploration of inequalities in society. This course has a strong emphasis on many traditional topics in sociology, studies and sociologists that continue to be relevant, there is also a range of topics which are the latest and most exciting developments in the Sociology especially looking at the relevance of past findings on society today.
Studying Sociology at Coopers provides the space to approach wider issues. The course allows students to ask and answer the big questions in an open and appreciative environment, guided by a strong subject expert. Sociology is a stimulating subject that is relevant to contemporary society, it explores a range of areas such as the education system in the UK, changing nature of the family, the social significance of beliefs in society to what the government is doing to reduce crime. Studying Sociology will allow you to tap into topic areas that may be too big or uncomfortable to think about alone. In this subject you will also be engaged in your own sociological investigations.
What will you learn about?
The course offers a number of compulsory core topics, as well as optional topics:
First year Sociology
Introduction to Sociology – includes core themes and skills
- Socialisation , culture and identity
- Social differentiation , power and stratification
- Students must also understand the significance of conflict and consensus, social structure and social action, and the roles of ‘values’
- Skills of application , analysis and evaluation
These themes are applied to particular substantive areas of sociology. These themes are interpreted broadly as threads running’s through many areas of social life.
- Education –Paper 1 A Level – Why are girls getting better exam results than boys? How much difference do schools actually make to your achievement? Does the education system make things fairer or just reproduce in equalities in society? Does it matter what teachers think of you?
- Family and Household –Paper 2 A Level- the family is an important institution in society, why do some emphasise its positive contribution and others challenge this? What are the effects of major social changes on the structures, roles and relationships in families? What are the changing relationships within the family? How have they changed and whether they have become equal?
- Research methods – Paper 1 A Level– what methods do Sociologists use to study a range of educational issues? Are some methods more appropriate than others? Are some methods more suited to particular topic areas than others?
Second year Sociology
- Beliefs in society- Paper 2 A Level -investigating why religious sects emerge and why people join them and issues such as whether UK is experiencing secularisation. Why a religious fundamentalism and product of modern society? To what extent is religion patriarchal?
- Crime and deviance Paper 3 A Level- You will examine why men commit more crime than women The effects of globalisation and crime. To what extent is a criminal justice system and crime prevention strategies effective? What is the social distribution of crime between and within social groups?
- Theory and Methods Paper 1 + 3 A Level-you will test why early theories stood to the test of time , look at more recent theories and their relevance to the ideas and assumptions on which sociological methods are based.
To be successful in this subject students will need to be good at and enjoy:
Students will need to good at:
- Ability to engage in independent research
- Willingness to contribute to class discussion, listen, question and consider the views of other
- Written communication skills, the ability to explain
- Conduct research from various resources
- Read widely retrieve and interpret statistics and other data
- Understand and evaluate different points of view
- Formulate arguments
- Good essay writing skills
- Work in teams
- Open to exploring a range of views on social issues in a critical and evaluative way
- Draw on a range of views , evidence and contemporary issues
- Understanding of social and political issues in the past and present
- Questions assumptions and arguments
Students need to enjoy:
- Show an interest in how society works
- Be open to new ideas
- Be prepared to abandon common prejudices
- Show interest in history, politics and current affairs
Progression routes & career opportunities
A Level Sociology is very good at developing your essay writing skills, independent thinking critical analysis and research which is strongly needed at university and very important. An A level in Sociology is recognised for providing a good foundation in the knowledge of the social, political and policy aspect of society. What employers like particularly about the skills in sociology is having a knowledge of sociological theories and how they apply to people and organisations and their behaviour; the way sociology relates to social policy and methodology, interpretation and communication of social research. Transferable skills you can develop include communications, problem solving, and team working and good time management. Sociology at Coopers Company and Coburn school is regarded as a demanding and rigorous. Sociology is uniquely a combination of a range of subjects and therefore combines well with any other subjects. Students can directly progress into degrees in Sociology .Many can study Sociology as a combined degree. Sociology students go on to a wide range of jobs in policing, research, teaching, medicine, politics and civil service as well as taking jobs in the service sector. Sociology is flexible and therefore you will find graduates from the subject in nearly every reasonable job e.g. finance, media sports, healthcare , marketing and even IT.
Homework will involve mainly preparing for in class assessments after every sub topic, preparing for a lesson beforehand, preparing for group presentations. Extending learning entails of students’ gaining an understanding of research methods, through carrying out practical research and becoming ‘proper sociologists’. Others useful medium / resources and learning opportunities will provided to get you thinking and exploring beyond what is in the textbook.
Sociology is a complimentary discipline, it combines well with a wide range of subjects.