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Sociology A level at Congleton High School

Course description

Why does the crime rate always seem to be rising? Is the nuclear family the norm? Why do people join cults? Why do some people fail and others succeed in the education system? Why do so many people live in poverty while others live in the lap of luxury?

If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions, would like to debate such issues or are intrigued to know the answers, then Sociology will appeal to you. The subject will help you to understand the way that society influences the way in which we, as individuals, think, feel and behave, and get you to question commonly held assumptions.

By the end of the course you will be able to question commonly held assumptions. You will have a better understanding of the social world around you and how this affects individual behaviour. You will develop key skills in organisation, essay writing, evaluation, analysis, discussions and doing presentations.

Course content

Unit 1 – Education with Theory and Methods
EDUCATION - sociological theories of the role and function of education; relationships and processes; inequalities in education, relating to class, ethnicity and gender; and the significance of educational policies.
SOCIOLOGICAL METHODS IN CONTEXT - sociological research methods in the context of the Sociology of Education.
THEORY AND METHODS - different approaches to sociological research; factors to consider when designing, sources of data, e.g. questionnaires, interviews, etc; theoretical, practical and ethical considerations; the extent to which Sociology can be regarded as scientific..

Unit 2 – Topics in Sociology
BELIEFS IN SOCIETY - religious organisations, such as cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements; sociological theories; the debate as to whether the influence of religion has declined; and participation in religious organisations by different social groups.
THE FAMILY - cross-cultural variations of the family; the diversity of contemporary family life in Britain; sociological theories of the family; domestic violence and child abuse; the historical development of the family; social policy; childhood and old age; demographic trends in the United Kingdom since 1900; and the division of domestic labour in the home.

Unit 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
CRIME AND DEVIANCE - the social construction of crime and deviance; the usefulness of crime statistics; sociological theories of crime and deviance; the treatment of different groups by law enforcement agencies; victims of crime; crime and the media; green crime; and punishment.
THEORY AND METHODS – You will build on the work you did on this topic in Unit 1, developing knowledge, understanding and skills of analysis and evaluation.

Entry requirements

It is strongly recommended that to do a course in Sociology you have at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above and that include at least Grade B in English Language, English Literature and Maths. However all applications will be considered on an individual basis.


A range of teaching and learning styles are employed throughout the course including: co-operative learning structures, classroom discussion and debates; individual and group research; presentations; curriculum based trips e.g. to a Crown Court to experience a real trial, to the Police Museum and Buddhism Centre in Manchester; and note taking.


  •  Formal assessment includes:

- Paper 1 - a 2 hour paper on Education with Theory and Methods.
- Paper 2 - a 2 hour written exam on Topics in Sociology, specifically Families and Households and Beliefs in Society
- Paper 3 – a 2 hour written exam on Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
- Each paper is worth 80 marks and comprises 33.3% of the overall grade.

  • Informal assessment might include question and answer, meeting targets presentations, discussions, use of interactive whiteboards, critical thinking activities, flashcards and sequencing activities etc.

Future opportunities

The course provides a good foundation for either further Sociology related studies at college or university or as a general qualification to support a career in: Social Work; Health and Social Welfare; Speech Therapy; Police Force; Criminology; Journalism and the Media; Tourism and Leisure; Law; Trainee Management; Personnel Management; Marketing; Scientific and Social Research; Teaching; and the list goes on… It will also be useful as a general qualification to support an application to study something completely different.

Further information

This course can be taken in conjunction with other vocational or academic courses at Congleton High School Sixth Form or The Congleton College.
Sociology fits with most subjects, particularly Psychology, PE, Media Studies, History and English, in both its forms, as similar skills are required.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 13 October 2016
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