Sociology A Level at West Somerset College
Sociology is the study of Society, the ‘social world’ or social behaviour. It looks beyond the day-to-day and asks; what is the real nature of society, why does it function like it does and for whose benefit? This course provides you with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the world around you and reflect on social issues that are often relevant to your own social experiences. It has a strong focus on key sociological themes: socialisation, culture, identity, power, control and inequality. It allows you to study various topics including Families and relationships, Youth subcultures and Crime and deviance. Moreover, it focuses on contemporary society and includes a fascinating new topic on globalisation and the digital social world, an area that’s extremely relevant to the way we communicate as a society today.
Why study this course?
Those who study Sociology will become adept in understanding and analysing sociological issues and devising potential solutions to various social inequalities relating to factors such as class, gender, race and poverty. Sociology provides a strong understanding of social and political issues, past and present. Moreover, studying sociology will definitely help develop your essay skills, allowing you to discuss different views on social issues in a critical and evaluative way. Being able to draw on a range of perspectives, evidence and contemporary issues is excellent preparation for university and employment.
Sociology is regarded as a demanding and rigorous A-Level which combines well with any other combination of subjects, especially Psychology, Geography, Law, History, English, Media Studies, Biology, Business and Biology.
The course offers a number of compulsory core topics, as well as optional topics:
- Crime and deviance
- The impact of globalisation
- The nature of social relationships
- Different forms of social inequality
- The impact of new forms of social media
- Social research in a range of social contexts
Students are required to have obtained 5 good GCSE passes at grade 5/C or above. This must include a 5 in English GCSE and also Maths. In special circumstances the department may consider students who do not meet these requirements. There is no requirement to have studied Sociology at GCSE – just to have an open and enquiring mind.
There are a range of forms of assessment, all exam based. These range from short answer to longer essay questions. There is no coursework. Assessment will take place at the end of the two year course.
Sociology offers a challenging and stimulating course that is widely recognised and highly respected by universities as well as employers. The study and essay skills learnt are an excellent preparation for Higher Education and for career paths such as Law, policing, market research, politics, education and social work, as well as the civil service and jobs in the service sector.
The Sociology department is proud of the support it gives to students. Lessons at A Level are very different from GCSE, with much more room for discussion, group-work, student presentations and independent research, as well as teacher led activities. The department will provide students with the necessary textbooks, and a library of videos and books that students can borrow to aid their independent learning. Students will receive small group coaching throughout the year, have access to additional support sessions and have a full programme of revision sessions in the run up to the exams. Students are given a comprehensive range of revision materials and activities to ensure that they achieve the highest possible results.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact West Somerset College directly.