Sociology A Level at Prior Pursglove And Stockton Sixth Form College
Sociology is ‘the study of society’. Some people think that it must be a soft option, because everyone knows about society – don’t they? We all live in one, so it must be just be common sense! But society is not the same everywhere: it’s different at different times, in different places and different people see things differently even within the same society. Sociology asks you to consider what actually happens, and look for explanations and not just rely on common sense.
WHY SHOULD I STUDY SOCIOLOGY?
Sociology is the study of society and the way that it can shape people’s behaviour, beliefs and identity. Sociology enables us to make sense of the rapidly changing world in which we live. If you are interested in questions like: who does better at school – girls or boys? Which social class are you? Does social class even exist anymore? Why does poverty exist? Are women portrayed fairly in the media? Does violence in the media create violence in real life? Then Sociology is for you!
USEFUL SKILLS & INTERESTS
You need an open mind, and to be able to think at times in the abstract. You will be studying society within a theoretical context which may be new to you, but you still need to understand interpretations of society based on very different points of view, even if you don’t accept them.
You need an interest in society as it is today. People who read newspapers, watch news and documentary programmes, or simply have an interest in how people interact, will find that they can enjoy Sociology. Sociology will make it all even more interesting. A trip to the supermarket, an episode of Hollyoaks or Family Guy can speak volumes to a Sociologist!
You need a divergent mind. If you like knowing that if you follow a set routine, you can find the right answer, then Sociology is not for you, unless you are also clever enough to know that sometimes there can be no ‘right’ answers – only well argued ones.
You need a disciplined mind. You have to be able to use suitable evidence from sociological studies, Government policymaking, carefully compiled statistics and historical knowledge – anything relevant but universally recognisable and reliable – to make your points effectively.
Students will study:
- Family and households
- Theory and Methods
- The Mass Media
- Crime and Deviance
Within the College’s general recommendations for beginning advanced courses, we would insist that Sociology students have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language and any other literary based subject involving a significant amount of reading i.e. English Literature or History. Sociology is a ‘literary’ subject, so you need to be happy with the written word.
You will need to read a lot, be able to interpret information accurately and write coherently, fluently and accurately.
The course will be assessed at the end of the two years. It is expected that each module will have a written exam which will consist of essay questions and short answers.
You will be provided with a course textbook. External visits usually require a small financial contribution.
A high proportion of jobs or university courses don’t require a specific set of A Levels, and the skills that you acquire as a Sociology student will be very relevant to a wide range of university courses and occupations. Our students in the past have gone on, for example, to become Police Officers, Journalists, Lawyers, Nurses, Civil Servants, Teachers and Probation Officers.
Some of the students who studied this course at Prior Pursglove College progressed on to:
- Huddersfield University – Sociology & Criminology
- Hull University – Primary Teaching
- Liverpool John Moore University – Law & Criminal Justice / Psychology & Society
- Manchester Met University – Fashion Buying & Merchandising / History & Sociology
- Sheffield University – Adult Nursing
- Teesside University – Forensic Psychology / Sociology
- York St John University – Primary Education
You will attend lessons for four hours and thirty minutes per week. In addition, you are expected to do an equal amount of work outside class.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Prior Pursglove And Stockton Sixth Form College directly.