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Sociology A Level at Sheffield College

Course description

About the course

Sociology is one of the social sciences, and like History and Psychology, tries to understand human behaviour. Sociology particularly concerns the study of social life, offering different explanations and evidence for what affects our social behaviour. In contrast, psychology tends to concentrate on the workings of individuals’ minds, although there is some overlap. Sociologists are also interested in the historical development of societies.

Whilst psychologists emphasise the experimental method, and historians make great use of secondary sources, sociologists use a wider range of research techniques and sources to find out about social life. You will be expected to become familiar with these methods and answer exam questions about them.

We can all see evidence of social influences and factors, and statistically there are correlations between aspects of social life which sociologists debate. For example, it is widely known that poorer people have worse health and life expectancy than wealthier citizens – but why? It is clear that females commit fewer crimes than males – but why? These would be just two questions you might study, and there will not necessarily be any definitive answers. But there will be a lot of evidence to consider, and a lot of arguments about the topics! Sociology will make you look at everyday life in lots of new ways, so be prepared to be challenged! And be prepared to contribute, too.

First year topics can include a selection from the Sociologies of Health, Education with research methods, Culture and Identity, Wealth, Welfare and Poverty, Families and Households, or Culture and Identity.

Second year topics can include a selection from the Sociologies of Crime, Deviance and Punishment, Stratification, Beliefs in Society, Global Development, Mass Media or Power and Politics.

The traditional A level focus on thinking and analysis ensures that you will approach these topics from a number of different angles, or perspectives, with increasing emphasis on the skill of evaluation in year 2.

Disclaimer: at time of writing the examination board’s syllabus was still in draft form. Please check the AQA website for updates.

Will this subject suit me?

The ideal student will be interested in current affairs, social, political and contemporary culture, in short, the world around us. You will enjoy the intellectual challenge of debating ideas, enjoy reading about and researching social issues, and be prepared to construct clear, written arguments. Good numerical skills would be advantageous since there will be statistical evaluation.

Personal study time

All students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lectures. Homework will regularly be set, but students are expected to routinely manage their self-directed study, consolidating work set or undertaken in class.

Successful students are able to apply their knowledge of theories to the real world, by referencing actual events. So you will need to keep abreast of the news, watch TV documentaries and analyse contemporary developments, both to make your study of social life much more interesting and also to gain extra credit.

Qualification title      

A/AS Level Sociology

What students say about this subject.

Enjoy finding out about society and how it works.

Interesting – it’s a new way of thinking.

Comes from life

Reasonable homework set

Interesting, a good challenge

Harder work than I thought

 

Entry requirements

To study 3  A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths

To study 4 A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, including English Language and Maths

Assessment

Examinations

Financial information

Money

At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where can it lead?

You will be assessed by written exams, which does mean that any student who ‘can do’ Sociology will also be capable of handling evidence, constructing and presenting quite sophisticated arguments, which are excellent skills for any university and professional career.

Many students go on to university, where Sociology is a long-established subject with strong links to the other social sciences. If, for example, you wished to train as a lawyer, journalist, doctor, teacher, social worker, police officer, public administrator, or architect, then you would study some sociology as part of your professional training. Most careers which involve working with people have some sociological content within their professional training.

 

 

 

Further information

How to apply   

School pupils in Sheffield should apply on-line with the help of their school.  Other students can apply using a paper application form available from any college campus, by phoning 0114 260 2600, or downloading one from our website www.sheffcol.ac.uk

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

 

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Monday 20th November 2017, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Wednesday 7th March 2018, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Thursday 17th May 2018, 3.30pm - 7pm

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 17 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two years
  • Course code: HRENA1

Venues

  • More information
    • Welcome to Peaks Campus

      The Sheffield College Peaks campus in the south-east of the city has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with ‘The Loft’ canteen and social area, and ‘The Attic’ providing a vast learning space and climbing wall.

      Peaks has excellent transport links with a tram stop right outside the campus with regular trams to and from the city centre. Peaks offers vocational courses and academic qualifications.

      Address

      Peaks Campus, Waterthorpe Greenway, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S20 8LY

      By Car

      From the M1 take Junction 31 and follow signs for A57.

      Follow the A57 for approximately 3.5 miles continue on to Moss Way.

      When you see the South Yorkshire Police building on your left, take the first exit on the roundabout.

      Peaks Campus is on the right hand side.

      Parking

      Parking is available for Blue Badge holders only (please see the Disabled Go website for more details).

      By Train

      Sheffield Train station is well served by a variety of rail routes, please check the National Rail Enquiries website for more details. Once you arrive, Peaks Campus is accessible by tram, which you can pick up from Sheffield Train Station. Please see the section below for more details.

      By Tram

      Peaks Campus’ nearest tram stop is Moss Way, on the Blue Line.

      The Supertram website has travel planner which you can use to plan your journey and find up to date information about fares.

      By Bus

      There are plenty of buses that serve Peaks Campus – check out the Travel South Yorkshire website to find the best route from your location, as well and timetables and fares.

      By Bike

      Peaks Campus has secure bike storage on site. Please speak to Student Services to register and gain access to the storage facilities.

      Access

      For accessibility information please visit the Disabled Go website