Sociology - AQA A Level at Countesthorpe Leysland Community College
Head of Department: Mr. D. Rushin
Sociology students at CLCC attain very good grades. In recent years, well over half of Year 13 students attained an A or B grade, and it’s been typical for between 70 and 80% of students to attain their challenging ALPS target grades. In 2017, Sociology grades have been judged as 'outstanding' compared to national ALPS standards. Looking at other colleges in Leicestershire, the Sociology department at CLCC compares very well indeed.
Why study this course?
Studying Sociology offers students insights into social, political, economic and cultural issues. It helps them develop a multi-perspective and critical approach to understanding a range of issues around culture, family-life, government policy, education, crime, childhood, inequality, social power and many other aspects of society. It also helps students develop a range of skills that can be useful for a variety of careers.
Aims of the course
A-Level Sociology aims to provide students with a greater understanding of the social world, and to arouse an interest in human social behaviour and a desire to explain it. It also aims to instil in students some skills in academic writing, communication, note-taking, debating and others. However, ultimately the course aims to prepare students for exams at the end of year 13, increasing their chances of achieving grades which will springboard them into the next phase of their life – whether that be university, further education courses or employment.
Studying A-level Sociology offers an in-depth and evaluative insight into social, cultural, political and economic issues. It helps students develop a multi-perspective and critical approach to understanding issues around culture and identity, government policy, family life, inequality, government policy, crime and deviance, education, childhood, global relations, environmentalism, demographic change, social control and other aspects of contemporary society. It involves six topics:
- Families and Households investigates changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, separation and divorce, child-bearing and the life-course; the diversity of contemporary family and household structures; the nature and extent of changes within the family, with reference to gender roles, domestic labour and power relationships; the nature of childhood, and changes in the status of children in the family and society; demographic trends in the UK since 1900; and reasons for changes in birth rates, death rates and family size.
- Education explores the role and purpose of education; differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity in contemporary society; relationships and processes within schools, with particular reference to teacher/pupil relationships, pupil subcultures, 'the hidden curriculum' and the organisation of teaching and learning; the significance of educational policies, including selection, comprehensivisation, marketization and 'the globalisation of education' - for an understanding of the structure, role, impact and experience of education.
- Sociological Methods explores a range of primary and secondary sociological research methods, including questionnaires, experiments and interviews, and assesses their usefulness.
- Global Development investigates why certain societies have modernised while others remain under-developed, and explores a series of possible solutions to this under-development. A range of concepts and phenomena are studied, including 'globalisation'; over-population, war & conflict and morbidity in the developing world; aid, trade and debt; 'urbanisation' and the effects of industrialisation upon the environment.
- Crime & Deviance explores definitions of 'crime' and 'deviance'; attempts to explain why males and certain other social groups feature more commonly in crime data, and explores a vast range of explanations for why some people commit criminal and deviant acts while others conform to the law – and to 'social norms'. The unit also includes issues such as punishment, globalisation, corporate crime and crime-prevention strategies.
- Theory & Methods assesses the usefulness of a range of research methods (such as questionnaires and observation techniques) for studying crime and deviance; assesses the accuracy of official crime statistics; explores sociology's relationship with government policy, and examines whether or not social research can ever be objective, unbiased and 'value free', and whether or not sociology should be considered a 'science'. It also explores the concept of 'post-modernism'.
How am I assessed?
At the end of year-13, students will sit 3 exam papers, all 2 hours long. They are on:
• Sociological Theory and Methods - along with Sociology of Education
• Global Development - as well as Families & Households
• Crime & Deviance - with Theory & Methods
Where does this course lead?
Successful Sociology students go on to a range of fields. While some enter employment with a greater understanding of social, political and economic processes; many go on to university. Previous Sociologists at Countesthorpe have gone on to study Sociology, Social Policy and Human Geography, for example. However, inspired by the Crime & Deviance unit, many combine their passion for Sociology with their love of Psychology and apply for courses in Criminology.
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.