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Sociology A level at Lansdowne College

Course description

Sociology is a diverse subject concerned with analysing human social behaviour, institutions and social processes. Students examine the development of human society from prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups to contemporary post-industrial societies, and gain an appreciation of broad trends underlying social change and the formation of the modern world.

Sociology involves the study of wealth, power, status, poverty and social class, as well as politics, race, nationalism and cultural identity. The course covers the role of family, education, religion, the media, leisure and the arts. Students also study government, social control systems and crime, international politics, globalisation, development and aid.

Although the focus of the course is on contemporary society, students have the opportunity to study non-Western and historical cultures radically different from their own.

Course content



Is the function of education to socialise, enlighten and educate children or to mould personalities and teach skills in preparation for the world of work? What factors lie behind the persistent social class and ethnic differences in levels of educational attainment? What effect can teachers’ interactions with students have on their motivation and success? Why are girls far outperforming boys at all levels of education?

The Family

What are the functions of the family and how has family form changed throughout history and from culture to culture? How has the rejection of traditional beliefs concerning marriage impacted on the role and status of men, women and children in families? How have state intervention and political movements such as feminism shaped family life? How have our notions of childhood changed over the past century? What is the likely future of the family?

In the AS-Level students also study how sociologists conduct research, and are introduced to a variety of theoretical perspectives on the nature of society.


Students study all AS material. Further A-Level material includes:

Beliefs in Society

Students examine religion as a source of group identity, morality, and as an explanation of the world. They look at the relationship between religion, magic, healing, sacrifice and the supernatural. The course covers religion’s role in subjugating women and the working class, as well as fundamentalism as a conservative force and as a force for revolutionary change. What is the attraction of apparently bizarre religious cults and sects? Is religion a declining force or is religion undergoing a revival?

Crime and Deviance

Can criminality lead to positive social change? What are the differences in levels of criminality and type of crime committed between the wealthy and the poor? Can official crime statistics be trusted? The course looks at how businesses and governments act criminally as well as the social class differences in court sentencing. Are women committing more crime? Does government policy toward the poor create a criminal subculture?


AS students sit 2 exams at the end of their first year (2 x 1hr 30mins).

Questions are a mix of short and longer written answers and essays.

A2 students sit 3 exams at the end of their second year (3 x 2hrs).

Questions are a mix of short and longer written answers and essays.

Future opportunities

Sociology intersects with academic disciplines such as History, Government and Politics, Anthropology, Religious Studies, Psychology, Economics, Philosophy and Classics.

Sociology is suitable for students planning to enter a wide range of careers such as journalism, law, business, advertising, the civil service, government, social services and finance.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lansdowne College directly.

Last updated date: 15 August 2016

Key information