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A Level Sociology at JCoSS

Course description

Sociology is the study of society. The questions it asks include:

How has my sense of identity come about? What does it mean to be a Feminist today? Is the education system fair? Why have divorce rates increased over time? Why do men account for 95% of the prison population? Is society become more secular?

Underpinning these questions is an exploration of the ways in which different sociologists see and investigate the social world. In an age of rapid social change and uncertainty – the study of Sociology is as essential now as it ever was. Sociology unravels the mystery of social structures such as class, ethnicity and gender. The course is varied and adaptable; students will acquire a range of valuable skills for higher education: analysis; debate; criticism; empathy; objectivity and essay-writing techniques. Importantly, Sociology reminds students that we should always keep an open mind and question what we see in our world.

Course content

The AS course consists of three topics:

Paper 1: Education with Methods in Context Students will understand how the education system has changed over times and been impacted by various governments. Additionally, they will closely examine how variables such as gender, class and ethnicity affect achievement in school and how these issues are researched.

Paper 2: Research Methods with Families and Households In addition to developing their understanding of how the social world is investigated, students will understand the reasons behind patterns of marriage, divorce, relationships and childhood.

The A-Level consists of the following units:

Paper 1: Education with Theory and Methods As above, with greater emphasis on research methodology.

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology (Families and Households and Beliefs in Society) In addition to understanding sociological perspectives, A-Level students developing their understanding of issues like secularisation, religious fundamentalism, sects, cults and sociological perspectives on religion.

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods Why do some social groups seem to participate in crime more than others? In Crime and Deviance, the focus is very much on understanding the social explanations for why people commit crime and how they are punished. The Theory and Methods element of the unit deepens understanding of the major perspectives; including Feminism, Functionalism, Marxism and Social Action Theories.

Entry requirements

Students do not need to have studied Sociology at GCSE to study the course. More importantly, students need at least a B grade at GCSE in English. The course demands good essay writing skills and a willingness to contribute to discussion. You will be set independent learning tasks every week and will also be expected to carry out your own reading.


Assessment for both AS and A-Level Sociology is via examinations.

AS Course:

Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes written exam (50%) Short answers and extended writing Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes written exam (50%) Short answers and extended writing

Full A-Level:

Paper 1: 2 hour exam (33.3%) Short answers and extended writing

Paper 2: 2 hour exam (33.3%) Extended writing

Paper 3: 2 hour exam (33.3%) Short answers and extended writing

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact JCoSS directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015
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