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Sociology AS & A Level at Durham Sixth Form Centre

Course description

Sociology is the study of society. It enables us to understand more about the social and group forces that shape all our lives. The subject maintains that the key to understanding modern society is from the viewpoint that all ideas and behaviours are shaped by social groups and structures.

Students will learn through a variety of methods, but with an emphasis on good essay construction, the ability to evaluate between competing sociological approaches, and using materials to become familiar with a wide range of sociological studies and research methods.

Course content

Sociology looks at the modern world from the perspective of social groups, particularly those associated with social class, gender and ethnicity. The course will also introduce students to the competing sociological theories of Marxism, Functionalism, Interactionism, Feminism and the New Right. There is a heavy emphasis on becoming familiar with the studies, ideas and theories of sociologists working within these ideological frameworks. A key feature of the course is knowledge of the research methods used by different sociologists and a general awareness of methodological theory and practice.

AS Topics are: Education with Methods in Context, Research Methods and Families & Households

A2 Topics are: Education with Theory & Methods, Crime and Deviance with Theory & Methods, Topics in Sociology, 1. Families and Households, 2. Beliefs in Society

Entry requirements

There are a range of courses and pathways available to you at Durham Sixth Form Centre depending on your GCSE results and academic profile. In order to enrol with us as a student, you must have the minimum of 5 A*-C GCSE grades (or equivalent). In addition, individual subjects have specific entry requirements, which will be discussed with you during the application and enrolment process. Students who do not achieve a grade C or above (or numerical equivalent) in GCSE English and/or mathematics will be required to continue studying these subjects at Durham Sixth Form Centre.

If you do not meet our entry requirements but are still keen to study at Durham Sixth Form Centre, please contact us to discuss your options.


Assessment is entirely exam-based

AS: Two 1 hour 30 minute exams consisting of mainly essay-based questions

A2: Three 2 hour exams consisting of mainly essay-based questions

Future opportunities

A qualification in Sociology can be useful in many areas of life. Careers in social work, media, teaching, the Civil Service and local government, the legal profession, the police and community care are all examples of employment that will be better informed by a knowledge and understanding of Sociology.

Further information

Sociology is an essay-based social science and thus combines best with subjects such Government & Politics, History, Classics, Law, Philosophy, Economics and History.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Durham Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 13 January 2017
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    • Durham Sixth Form Centre is located in Durham City Centre next to Gala Square and Freeman’s Quay. We are a couple of minutes walk from both the bus station and the railway station. Our students enjoy having all of the city centre facilities, shops, restaurants, the city library, cinema and theatre on our doorstep. In the city itself, students find a host of lively cultural, social and educational advantages and facilities. The galleries, exhibitions, museums and book shops all play their part in enriching the student experience. A large public car-park is directly opposite and adjacent to Durham Sixth Form Centre’s main entrance.