Sociology A Level at Wanstead High School
Why study Sociology? Because you want to understand the world in which you live – how and why it functions as it does, who has power and who does not. Sociologists are interested in why society works in the way that it does and the extent to which our behaviour – and even opportunities – can be shaped by our social class, age, gender and race. We question the society in which we live in order to understand the relationship between individuals and institutions such as the education system, religion, family diversity, and crime. Students need to be able to grasp complex concepts and theoretical ideas and apply these to contemporary society.
- Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods. Students will explore the topic education, for example, the role and functions of education and differential educational achievement. Students must also apply sociological research methods to the study of education. Students will sit a 2 hour written exam.
- Paper 2: Topics in Sociology - Students will sit a 2 hour written exam. Students will need to understand methodology (how to carry out social research) including the benefits and disadvantages of experiments, surveys, interviews and observation and they will study the topic of Families and Households including conjugal roles, social policy, demography, trends in families – marriage, divorce, lone-parent families, births outside of marriage, Theories on family Functionalist, Marxist and Feminist approaches. Beliefs in Society incorporates theories of religion, whether religion is a conservative force or a force for change, religious organisations (church, denomination, sect, cult), the secularisation debate (is religion disappearing in modernity), globalisation and religion (global trends), postmodernity and religion and other forms of belief system (communism, nationalism, fascism).
- Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods. Students will explore theories of crime and its social distribution; Globalisation and crime in contemporary society; the mass media and crime; green crime; human rights and state crimes. Crime control and the role of the criminal justice system, including the study of suicide. We also study the connections between sociological theory and methods and the study of crime and deviance. Students will sit a 2 hour written exam.
By critically studying the way in which our everyday lives are effected by and related to such institutions as the family, education, politics, the mass media, the legal system etc, A level sociology seeks to provide students with the necessary “tools” to make decisions and form judgements about themselves and the world around them which will be of lasting value for the successful navigation of their future.
In addition, Sociology is a valued subject for higher education entry and future careers. Sociology students are particularly in demand for „people centred occupations‟ and professions that demand an analytical approach based upon weighing up evidence and arguments to reach considered conclusions. Sociology students have gone on to careers as wide ranging as media research, law, police, journalism, teaching, social and welfare work, personnel work, business analysts, civil service and local government policy making, advertising, publishing, cultural centres, leisure provision, nursing, medicine, the charity sector and market research.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wanstead High School directly.