Sociology AS/A Level 3 at Mayfield Grammar School, Gravesend
Subjects at GCSE will provide you with many of the skills that you will need to apply to become a critical sociologist. An interest in how society is organised and the role of people within it will be beneficial. The emphasis at A Level is on socialisation, culture and identity and social inequalities. As such you will be able to apply knowledge you already have and key sociological concepts within a theoretical framework. You will be acutely aware of current affairs and the links this has to the stratification of contemporary society; this will often link with policy changes that effect everyday life for many.
Paper 1: Education with Research Methods: This unit introduces students to one of the key social institutions: the Education System. In Britain, all students are expected to go to school and, as such, the Education System plays an important role for society. However, who does education benefit? In this unit you will consider the role and functions of the education system, the reasons why some groups of students do better than others and the significance of educational reforms introduced by previous governments.
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology: SECTION A: Culture and Identity: In this unit, students will consider what is meant by ‘culture’. Students will examine different types of culture – popular culture, mass culture and global culture. You will investigate how culture is shaped and developed through the use of case studies. The unit also examines the concept of identity and how this is formed through socialisation and by the influence of wider society. The importance of different identities – e.g. gay/lesbian, ethnic, gender, age and disability will also be explored.
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology: SECTION B: Media: This unit is only studied at A Level and comprises the second option at A Level for Paper 2. In this unit, you will consider the significance of the Media (newspapers, TV, radio, social media) in society. You will explore how the content chosen by the Media is affected by political viewpoints and how this shapes popular opinion. You will consider how the Media portrays certain groups and whether this reinforces stigma and inequality. Finally, you will examine how Social Media is changing society.
Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Research Methods: This unit is only studied at A Level. You will consider how and why certain acts are classified as criminal and who this benefits. You will explore how certain groups are treated by the criminal justice system and whether this reinforces stigma and inequality. You will discuss the role of crime prevention strategies and whether they are effective – for example, do we need prisons?
Grade 6 at GCSE in two of English Language, English Literature or a Humanities subject.
Paper 1: Education with Research Methods (50% of the AS Level; 33% of the A Level)Paper 2: Topics in Sociology: SECTION A: Culture and Identity (50% of the AS Level
Paper 2: Topics in Sociology: SECTION B: Media (33% of the A Level) Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Research Methods (33% of the A Level)
Typical grade requirements to study Sociology/ a sociology related degree are as follows: Oxbridge: A* AA. Russell Group: ABB to BBB. Non Russell Group: ABB to CCC.
You could go on to do a degree in: Any social science
Career Options: Criminologist; Health care; Children’s Services; Police force; Politics; Community work; Writing; Journalism; Teacher; Probation/ Prison service; Social work; Law
Studying A Level Sociology will teach you to interpret the world more critically. You will develop skills that will enable you to gain a greater insight into your society and how it works. You will challenge common-sense assumptions about poverty, inequality and discrimination. Key questions include, the extent to which there is no poverty in Britain, that social media is a positive force in society and that Grammar School promote social mobility. In addressing these, and other themes, you will become acutely aware of current affairs and the links this has to the stratification of contemporary society; this will often link with policy changes that affect everyday life for many.
There is no coursework for this subject. Assessment is through short and extended pieces. Students need to be able to write a balanced essay. No previous knowledge is required – just an open and engaging mind! Sociology can be studied with ALL A Levels, but has good links with History, RS, Geography, Psychology, Media Studies, Politics, Economics/Business Studies and English.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Mayfield Grammar School, Gravesend directly.