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Sociology A Level at PETROC

Course description

This stimulating and topical study programme gives you a real insight into the world around you. You'll study how people behave in social situations and analyse the causes and effects at work beneath society as a whole. As you learn, you'll build up your knowledge and understanding of sociological thought and methods.

Course content

Importantly, we will develop your skills of analysis and evaluation, a great foundation for almost any course in higher education. In your first year, you will complete two modules based on topics where you already have personal experience; Families and Households, and Education and Research Methods alongside the practical skills sociologists use. In your second year, you'll explore the Sociology of Crime and Deviance looking at underlying causes and trends in deviance. You will also study Global Development and fascinating wider economic and social issues.

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto a two-year A Level programme, all entrants must hold at least a grade 5 in GCSE Maths and a grade 5 in GCSE English Language, as well as at least 3 other GCSEs at grade C or above. Certain subjects require a minimum of GCSE grade B; these are detailed in this prospectus and on the Petroc website.
Continuation onto Year 2 of the A2 programme will be dependent on achieving at least a grade D at AS in the subjects being continued to A2.

A minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English Language and Maths. A grade B in English Language is recommended.


Unit 1 is assessed by data response questions in a one and half hours. Unit 2 covers both Education and Research Methods and is assessed in a two hour exam. Unit 3 consists of data response questions and an essay in a one and a half hour exam and unit 4 is a two hour exam assessing Crime and Deviance and Theory and Methods.

Future opportunities

Most students expect to go to university or some other form of higher education. Sociology is particularly useful for those who are considering The Civil Service and Local Government, Management, Voluntary Agencies like Oxfam, Teaching, Law, Journalism, Medicine, Social Work, Nursing or Social Policy. It teaches transferable skills of analysis and evaluation which are applicable to all career paths.

Further information

There is access to journal databases and use of interactive media and information technology. There is a well equipped Sociology resource base. A text book is required by every student for each level, to be purchased themselves before the start of the autumn term.

Q. What exactly is sociology? 
A. It is a subject that allows you to understand human behaviour and social life. Sociologists study society and institutions such as government, families, the police and the courts. By doing this they allow us to understand why we behave the way we do, why certain individuals are affected by where they live or how poor they are. But mostly its about trying to help us understand ourselves and others better and create a more understanding society. Its about walking a mile in another person's shoes, learning to avoid prejudice and helping to create tolerance. Sociology opens your mind to those questions you may never have asked. It can turn your world upside down - making you think about the common sense and taken for granted everyday issues. Be prepared to leave the classroom with more questions than answers. Topics vary from poverty, gender, social identities, social inequalities, race, crime and deviance and comparing different societies. 

Q. Do I have to do a lot of reading? 
A. Yes mostly based on the course material as well as reading interesting articles in current news papers and researching topics further using text books and websites. 

Q. Will there be opportunity for discussion and debate of current issues? 
A. Yes this will allow you to form and give your own opinion on topics, there are always lively group discussions which you are expected to take part in. 

Q. What other subjects go well with Sociology? 
A. Geography, History, Classical Civilisation, Politics, Psychology, English, Sport all include some areas of Sociology. 

Q. Will we be watching videos and TV programmes? 
A. Yes, to keep the course current and relevant we use a wide range of sources and much of what we watch is available on the internet e.g.You tube and also through documentaries from the BBC such as tribal wives. I welcome anyone to bring any movies or programmes that are relevant as examples to what we are studying.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 17 February 2017

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