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Sociology AS & A Level at Presdales School

Course description

AS Content

Education with Methods in context

  • Education: The role and functions of the education system, differential educational achievement of social groups by social class, gender and ethnicity; teacher/pupil relationships; pupil identities and subcultures; the hidden curriculum; the significance of educational policies and the impact of globalisation on educational policy.
  • Methods in context: Application of sociological research methods to the study of education.

Research Methods and Topics in Sociology

  • Research Methods: Quantitative and qualitative methods of research; research design, sources of data, relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods, theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, method(s) and conduct of research.
  • Families and households: Changes to the family and household structure;changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, divorce and childbearing; changes within the family eg. gender roles, domestic labour, power relationships; childhood, and changes in status of children in the family and society; demographic trends in the UK since 1900 including ageing population and migration.
A2 Content

In addition to the topics studied at AS students will be examined on ONE of the following topics: Beliefs in Society, Global Development, The Media and Stratification and Differentiation.

In addition to the methods covered at AS students cover the following theory: Consensus, conflict, structural and Social Action theories, the concepts of Modernity and Postmodernity and the following debates – Is Sociology a Science?, Can Sociology be value free?, What is the relationship between Sociology and social policy?

  • Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods: different theories of crime, deviance, social order and social control; the social distribution of crime and deviance by ethnicity, gender, age, locality and social class, including recent patterns and trends in crime; globalisation and crime; the media and crime; green crime, human rights, and state crimes; crime control, surveillance, prevention and punishment; victims and the role of criminal justice system and other agencies.

Entry requirements

Students are required to have obtained an average GCSE point score of 43 or more as well as at least a grade B in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature.


AS topics will be examined at the end of Year 12. The A2 topics will be examined at the end of Year 13.

Future opportunities

Sociologists are popular with employers because they think critically and independently and have a deep understanding of the complex and interlinked nature of society. Sociology is a people based subject and is relevant to a wide range of careers including teaching, medicine, health and social care, media, politics, police and law.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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Key information


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    • Presdales is a five-form entry all-ability school which became an Academy on 1st April 2012, for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. Boys are welcomed into the Sixth Form. Founded as Ware Grammar School for Girls in 1906 on the Amwell House site, it moved to its present site at Presdales in 1964. Since 1975 – when the school’s intake was enlarged – we have accepted girls from a wide area of Hertfordshire.

      The school was rated ‘outstanding’ at all four inspections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008. Language College status was granted by the DfES in 1995 and, on the strength of the school’s high performance overall, Music College status with English as an accompanying strand was awarded in 2006, followed by Mathematics & Computing College status with a Gifted & Talented focus in 2008.