A Level Sociology at Bournemouth School
Sociology is the study of human society and culture. Sociologists aim to study, describe, explain,
categorise and interpret human behaviour, particularly on a large scale. Organisations, institutions
and social policy makers are all examined within a sociological - and often an historical - structure, by
looking at the reasons for and the consequences of social change.
- the role that the media play in influencing and representing our society
- the part that education plays in shaping the behaviour of young people
- the significance of the changing nature of "family", and the causes of those changes over the
- the reasons for - and consequences of - crime and deviant behaviour.
Sociology attracts students who are interested in current affairs, and who like to understand the
society in which we live, and the culture which surrounds us. There are strong cross-curricular links:
many of the themes explored in Sociology link well with other academic subjects; many of the skills
used in other subjects are used well by good Sociologists.
Sociology is both topically and methodologically a very broad discipline. It is a social science; this
means that students are expected to make use of empirical evidence to support arguments. But most
of all, students are expected to construct critical evaluations of theories which explain trends in society.
In studying Sociology, students will be expected to regularly access the media - reading at least one
of the quality newspapers is strongly advised, as is an awareness of current affairs, especially in the
fields which are examined. Television documentaries should feature highly on television viewing
schedules, as well as keeping abreast of the news. These could inform classroom discussions at any
It should be stressed that Sociology is not an easy option; whilst there is no assumption of previous
knowledge or experience of Sociology at GCSE, the subject demands academic rigour. An
industrious approach is essential for anyone hoping to succeed and get a lot out of Sociology.
Our Sixth Form entry requirement is based on the applicant’s best 8 GCSEs including
English and Mathematics with a minimum of 356 points, with an A*, A or B in the
subjects chosen or in a related discipline. The points used are the Department for Education
(DfE) points - 58 A*, 52 A, 46 B, 40 C, 34 D, 28 E. (Maximum = 8 A* = 464 Points).
Essentially this means that you should be confident of achieving at least 6 B grades and 2
C grades at GCSE (and at least C grades in English Language and Mathematics) before
considering applying for a sixth form place at Bournemouth School.2
There are also some subject specific entry requirements in addition to the requirements for
joining the Sixth Form. In most cases, you will be expected to have attained at least a grade
B in the subject that you intend to study at Advanced Level (A-Level). The main exception to
this is for Mathematics and Further Mathematics. To study Mathematics at A-Level we
expect you to have attained an A* or A grade at GCSE, and for Further Mathematics an A*.
These requirements are based upon our experience over a number of years, and how well
Mathematics students cope with the transition between GCSE and A-Level. We recognise
that very few students will have had the opportunity to study Economics, Government and
Politics, or Psychology at GCSE level. To study these subjects at A-Level, we expect you to
have attained at least B grades in closely related subjects. Some subjects do not have any
subject specific requirements (but, you must, of course, have met the requirements of joining
the Sixth Form).
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bournemouth School directly.