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Sociology - AS / A level at King Edward VI CEVC Upper School

Course content

You will learn:

  1. the theories of sociologists and the language that they use to explain and discuss their ideas
  2. to understand the nature of sociological evidence and the methods used by sociologists to analyse and evaluate it
  3. to develop an understanding of how society and social relationships have been explained by a number of sociologists
  4. to express your own sociological ideas confidently and effectively
  5. to plan and carry out a sociological investigation based on an area of personal interest
  6. the significance of not taking things for granted and questioning ideas and evidence
  7. explanations of how and why societies have developed over time.

Entry requirements

It is not a requirement that you have studied Sociology at GCSE in order to take an AS or A-level course in the subject. A number of the topics offered for study are developments from GCSE but there are also plenty of topics offered which are likely to be new to most students.

You should have at least a grade C for English GCSE and a grade B for any humanities-based subject. You need to have an enquiring mind, an interest in your society and how it works and the ability to communicate your ideas effectively.

Those students who have studied Sociology GCSE will find that the skills and the knowledge they have acquired will form a solid foundation for further studies at AS/A-level.


AS level Unit 1 - Exploring socialisation, culture and identity In this unit there are several key issues for you to consider including: the formation of culture, the process of socialisation, the role of socialisation in the creation of identities and exploring the research process involved in social research. This question paper consists of questions based on one piece of pre-released data.

Unit 2 - Topics in socialisation, culture and identity In this unit you will put your knowledge and understanding of the socialisation process into practise by studying two key social institutions in detail: The sociology of the family (including key trends within family life, the role of the family in contemporary society, family diversity and roles, responsibilities and relationships within the family). The sociology of youth (including the social construction of youth, the role of subculture within society, youth and deviance and the experience of youth in education). This question paper has two sections based on two topic areas.

Candidates are required to answer any two questions. In order to progress to A2 you will need to achieve a C grade at AS.

A-level Unit 3 - Power and control In this unit students will explore issues of power and control through a detailed study of crime and deviance. The social construction of crime and deviance are emphasised and the role of agencies of social control and the law are explored. This unit aims to give candidates an overview of different theoretical approaches to the study of crime and deviance. This question paper requires candidates to answer two essay-style questions from a choice of three on crime.

Unit 4 - Exploring social inequality and difference This unit is synoptic and builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the AS course. It seeks to develop links between the nature of sociological thought, the methods of sociological enquiry and the core sociological themes of power, social inequality, socialisation, culture and identity. Students will also carry out their own small-scale research project on a social issue of their own choice as a way of enhancing sociological understanding of methodology, substantive topic areas and core themes. This question paper includes one piece of research on social inequality and difference ( not pre-released ) upon which the exam is based.

Future opportunities

Students who study AS or A-level Sociology have access to a wide range of career and higher education opportunities. By the end of your course you will have learned how to evaluate and analyse information, how to weigh up evidence and how to communicate complex ideas effectively. Combined with other subjects such as History or Politics, Sociology provides a good basis for a humanities degree. Many students find the combination of Sociology and Psychology useful. Sociology AS/A-level provides an excellent foundation for a number of popular careers including journalism, social work and law.

Further information

The course will appeal to students who

  1. have an interest in the way that societies have developed
  2. enjoy investigation and discovery
  3. enjoy debate and like putting forward a well-argued case
  4. enjoy working more independently
  5. want to broaden science AS or A-level studies to include a humanities subject
  6. want to keep their options open. Sociology is widely regarded as a useful qualification for a wide range of higher education or career choices.

For further information: Ms J Nixon

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI CEVC Upper School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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