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Sociology A Level at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School

Course description

Sociology at “A” level is taught through conventional lessons, group discussion, group presentation and the assessment of contemporary material. The emphasis is on empowering the students to learn through their own experience. Students are encouraged to critically engage with the social world around them and to interpret what they find using sociological theory. They will undertake a research project on sociological theory and interpretation in year 12.

This is an important part of the learning process but does not count in the final marking. Students should make themselves aware of issues to do with the media, changes in the family, discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, social class, gender etc by reading national newspapers and watching current affairs programmes on the television. The Sociology course will build on that awareness and put it into the context of social science theory.

Course content

Exploring socialisation, culture and identity. This unit introduces students to key concepts associated with developing a sociological understanding of the contemporary social world. It is intended to introduce the AS core themes of culture, socialisation and identity, whilst concurrently introducing and exploring how sociologists collect their data. Links between methods of sociological enquiry, contemporary social policy and the core themes are encouraged throughout the teaching of this unit. There are seven key issues to consider:

1. The formation of culture

2. The process of socialisation

3. The role of socialisation in the creation of identities

4. Exploring the research process

5. Exploring the use of quantitative data-collection methods and analysis in the context of research

6. Exploring the use of qualitative data-collection methods and analysis in the context of research

7. Exploring the use of mixed methods in the context of research.

Sociology of the family: The family is a central institution of socialisation and a main transmitter of culture in the contemporary UK. Studying this unit should allow candidates to explore contemporary family structures, relationships and changes and offers a real opportunity for them to reflect on their own social experiences of family life, culture and socialisation.

Sociology of Youth: Youth is a crucial period in the socialisation process when individuals are developing a sense of identity. Studying this option allows candidates to engage with the concept of youth culture and offers a real opportunity for them to reflect on their own social experiences.

Sociology of Education: In this unit, candidates explore issues of power and control through a detailed study of education. Candidates have the opportunity to reflect on their own educational experience in light of the concepts of power, control, inequality and difference. It aims to give an overview of different theoretical approaches to the study of education. We will consider the structure and organisation of the education system, the function of education in society, differential educational achievement, and the link between education and the economy.

Exploring Social Inequality and Difference: This unit builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the AS units and seeks to develop links between the nature of sociological thought, the methods of sociological enquiry and the core sociological themes of power, social inequality, socialisation, culture and identity. Candidates study and explain patterns of inequality in the contemporary UK, illustrating this through a consideration of gender, class, ethnicity and age.

Entry requirements

At least grade C in Maths is required in addition to one B grade in an essaybased subject as part of the normal entry requirements.



How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School directly.

Last updated date: 26 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years