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Sociology A level at Nelson and Colne College

Course description

At a basic level, Sociology is the study of the society around us and our place in it. Whilst everyday life may appear to be random and hectic, it is possible to identify patterns of behaviour. Studying Sociology will make you more aware of your society and enable you to gain a valuable insight into human social behaviour.

You will study a wide range of interesting and exciting sociology topics such as youth subcultures and crime and deviance. You will also look at social inequality; this will involve discussions about inequality in our society in terms of gender, age, class and ethnicity. Sociologists believe that society is the single most important influence in your life, and many would argue that our behaviour can be largely explained by our place in society.

Course content

Unit 1: Socialisation, culture and identity
In this unit you will be introduced to the key concepts which underpin the study of sociology. You will study different types of culture, and explore what is meant by socialisation. As individuals, we have many different identities related to ethnicity nationality, gender, social class, sexuality, age and disability. You will learn about the different aspects of an individual’s identity, their relative importance to individuals and ways in which they may intersect; for example, what does it mean to be a heterosexual young female in society today? After this general introduction, you will study the topic of youth subcultures in more depth. You will explore how and why youth culture and subcultures are formed through looking at a range of examples of youth subcultures (such as hippies, goths, emos), as well as considering how different theories interpret youth sub-cultures. You will also consider deviant youth sub-cultures and examine debates around why, for example, young working class males are more likely to commit crime than any other social group.

Unit 2: Researching and understanding social inequalities
Whilst researching and understanding social inequalities in this unit, you will learn how sociologists research: the factors that influence research design, choice of method, and theoretical, ethical and practical considerations. You will study examples of research which investigate social inequalities; for example the experiences of people living in poverty, or the evidence of educational failure and success of different ethnic groups. The second section of this unit focuses on evidence and explanations of social inequalities according to class, gender, age and ethnicity.

Unit 3: Debates in contemporary society
In this exciting module you will study the contemporary social world and look at the whole process of globalisation along with digital forms of communication. You will examine how these are changing the very world we know and understand and how sociologists are beginning to interpret and explain this rapid social change. The second part of this unit focuses on a detailed study of crime and deviance. You will study issues such as: What actually is crime and deviance? Who commits most crime? How do different sociologists explain crime and deviance?

Entry requirements

You will be expected to have two Bs and three Cs in five subject areas at GCSE, to include a minimum of a grade C in Maths and English Language.


You will be assessed by three external written examinations at the end of the two-year course:
Unit 1: 1 hour 30 minutes written paper worth 90 Marks. 30% of total A Level grade.
Unit 2: 2 hours 15 minutes written paper worth 105 Marks. 35% of total A Level.
Unit 3: 2 hours 15 minutes worth 105 Marks. 35% of total A Level.

Future opportunities

Former students of these subjects have gone to study at some of the UK’s top universities including Lancaster University, Loughborough University, Bangor University, Newcastle University, the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham.

They are reading an array of interesting and challenging degree programmes including; Psychology, Sociology, Law, Criminology, Social Policy, Education Studies, Criminological and Forensic Psychology and Sport and Exercise Psychology.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nelson and Colne College directly.

Last updated date: 19 April 2016
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