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Sociology A-Level at New College Pontefract

Course description

Sociology is an interesting and challenging subject which aims to explain and analyse how society works. Students learn about modern issues, and social change.

The course introduces students to sociological theories including functionalism, Marxism and feminism, along with studying how sociologists carry out their research on people in society. Sociology is relevant to the society you live in so you are bound to enjoy learning about issues and debates in contemporary social life.

Course content

Year 12

Families and Households:

Changing patterns of family life – divorce, marriage, cohabitation and family diversity. Changing roles of men, women and children

Sociological theories of the role of the family in society

Government policy and the family. Demography


Social class, gender, ethnicity and the attainment gap.

Sociological explanations of the role of education in society

Education policy in the UK

Sociological Research Methods:

Interviews, observation, questionnaires, experiments, secondary data. The use of sociological research methods in the education context.

Year 13

The Sociology of the Media. Ownership and control of the mass media. Media audiences. Stereotyping – gender, age, ethnicity. Globalisation and culture

Crime and Deviance. Theories of crime/deviance. Crime and social class, gender, ethnicity. Criminal justice and crime prevention

Theory and Methods: Sociological theories and methodological issues.

Entry requirements

Level 5 English Language



Year 12 Units

Unit 1: Families and Households


Topics include:

· Changing patterns of family life – divorce, marriage, cohabitation

· Changing roles of men, women and children in family life

· Sociological theories of the role of the family in society


This represents 40% of the Year 12 Level and 20% of A Level marks.


        Unit 2: Education: Sociological Methods


Topics include:

· Difference in achievement – social class, gender and ethnicity

· Sociological explanations of the role of education in society

· Development of educational policy in the UK

· Techniques used by sociologists to investigate society – interviews, observation, questionnaires, experiments, secondary data


This represents 60% of the Year 12 Level and 30% of the A  Level marks.


Year 13 Units

Unit 3:  Mass Media

· Ownership and control of the mass media

· Sociological theories of the role of the media, effects on the audience

· The media and stereotyping – gender, age, ethnicity


This represents 20% of the total A Level marks.

Unit 4: Crime and Deviance; Theory and Methods


Topics include:

· Sociological theories of crime and deviance

· Crime and social class, gender, ethnicity, region and age

· Globalisation

· Green crime, state crime

· Criminal justice and crime prevention

· Sociological theories of society and research methods


This represents 30% of the total A Level marks.


Financial information

Financial support can be provided to students of families who are on low income to help with extra costs of staying on in education. If you need any further information please visit our website or contact student services.

Further information

What skills do I need?

  • Have a genuine interest in current affairs
  • Be willing to develop your writing skills and learn about new concepts and theories


How will I be taught?
A range of activities are used to develop your understanding and assess your learning. These include group work, reading sociological studies and evidence, using theories to explain social issues, writing essays and participating in discussions.

Private Study
As an approximate guideline Y12 subjects require three to four hours of independent study each; Y13 subjects four to five hours each and GCSE subjects two hours each

Sociology is for you if: You are interested in the world around you and enjoy learning and discussing new ideas and theories.

Sociology is not for you if: You dislike writing essays and preparing for exams.

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.

Last updated date: 06 October 2017
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