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Sociology A Level *FEES PAYABLE* at Ashbourne Independent School

Course description

The great thing about studying Sociology at Ashbourne is that the class investigates challenging topical matters such as ‘moral panics in the media,’ ‘knife crime,’ and ‘domestic violence’, or issues such as ‘why does the UK have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe?’

Multi-media resources are used to reinforce learning, such as BBC video clips, websites and newspaper articles. Stephen Burton who teaches Sociology (as well as Geography) aims to encourage independent thinking by using Socratic questioning, drawing out answers from students themselves.

Course content

There are four units in total: two at AS and two at A2.

Unit 1:

Culture and Identity: Families and Households; Wealth, Poverty and Welfare.

Students mainly explore at the topic ‘Families and Households’ but the other options have in the past been preferred by other groups. They consider the relationship of the family to the social structure and social changes and the state. They begin to think about changing patterns of cohabitation, marriage and child-bearing and changes in terms of roles within the family and the nature of childhood. They start to draw some conclusions about the reasons for and impact of these demographic trends.

Unit 2:

Education; Health: Sociological Methods

Students study the topic education, but have sometimes elected to study health instead. They consider the role and purpose of education in society, investigate the disparities in educational achievement between certain groups and consider the impact of relationships in schools and educational policies on the achievement of pupils. They begin to explore how sociological research methods have been used in the study of education.

Unit 3:

Beliefs in Society; Global Development; Mass media; Power and Politics

Students may elect to focus deeply on one topic or study two. However they only focus on one topic in the examination.

Unit 4:

Crime and Deviance; Stratification and Differentiation; Theory and Methods

Students study either Crime and Deviance with Research Methods or Social Stratification with Research Methods.

Entry requirements

Ashbourne aims to attract students with good character and solid academic achievements. The college takes great care with admissions and interviews each applicant. The interview is friendly, informal and without obligation.


Unit 1:

Candidates answer one question on their chosen topic. The question consists of five parts.

Unit 2:

Candidates answer one question on the topic, one question on sociological research methods in context and one question on research methods.

Unit 3:

Candidates answer one compulsory question on their chosen topic and one question from a choice of two.

Unit 4:

Candidates answer one question on their chosen topic, one question on sociological research methods and one on theory and methods.

Future opportunities

Sociology is a well-respected academic subject that is valued by employers and universities alike. It is a useful subject that can lead on to a number of degree courses or careers after successful completion of the A level. These include; Anthropology, Social Cultural Studies, Economics, Business Administration, Humanities, Government and Politics and History degrees and a career in law, the police, media, journalism, nursing, social work, probation services, research and the civil service amongst others.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ashbourne Independent School directly.

Last updated date: 10 November 2016

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