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A-Level Sociology at Winstanley College

Course description

What is Sociology?

Putting it simply, Sociology is the study of how society impacts or influences human behaviour. Sociology investigates what values, attitudes and rules we learn within society, how we learn them and what effect these rules and attitudes have on our behaviour.

  • Does everyone follow the rules?
  • Is everyone in society equal or do some groups have more power than others?
  • Which groups suffer the most/least inequality?
  • Are social attitudes and rules changing?
  • Is society sexist and racist?

Who should study Sociology?

Sociology is a challenging subject. Sociology students are expected to want to think independently, and make their own judgements based on the sociological theory and evidence they have considered. To enjoy Sociology you need to enjoy reading, thinking about people and writing essays.

Sociology students are also concerned with gathering social research by using research methods such as questionnaires, interviews, and observations. Sociology students at Winstanley are very keen to undertake research in the areas of Education and Crime in particular. Typical Education Research questions include; ‘How do teachers label pupils?’ Are teachers sexist? Or ‘Why do girls outperform boys?’ Typical Crime Research questions include; “Are the police racist?” “Why do males commit more crime than females?”

Why should I study Sociology at Winstanley?

At Winstanley, Sociology is taught by enthusiastic members of staff who are also examiners. However, Sociology isn’t just exam work. Sociology lessons include a diverse range of learning activities including PowerPoints, classroom discussions and debates as well as undertaking social research and analysing the results.


We endeavour to give the best possible experience of Sociology by organising social research trips where students are given the opportunity to conduct their own ‘social attitude surveys’ on the public. This usually entails going to the nearest city centre and asking a range of people their attitudes towards education, the media or the police. As part of Unit 4 ‘Crime and Deviance ‘ students have also enjoyed the opportunity of going to a variety of prisons in the North West area as well as visiting Granada Studios and the ‘Jeremy Kyle Show’ as part of Unit 3 ‘Mass Media’.

Sociology and careers

There is a wide variety of career options to choose from after studying Sociology. For instance because the subject itself allows you to investigate social institutions such as the education system, the health service the media and the criminal justice system, Sociology students often pursue careers connected to these institutions such as teacher, journalist, nurse, social worker, prison officer or police officer. Sociology can also be studied with any subject combination, but it helps if you are studying other subjects in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, including English,

History, Philosophy, Politics, Law and Psychology, where similar skills are also developed.

Topics studied:

Year 1:         Education and Research methods, Families and Households

Year 2:           Media, Crime and Deviance, Theory and methods

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 25 September 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years