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Sociology A Level at Hitchin Boys' School

Course description

During the course you will be encouraged to develop your own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary world. Sociologists are interested in explaining why society works the way it does and the extent to which our behaviour, experiences and life chances are shaped by our social class, age, gender, ethnicity and locality.

Those interested in the subject will want to understand the world in which they live – how and why it functions as it does and who has power and who does not. Studying sociology makes you look at the world, and your place in it, in completely new ways – you will never be the same again!

The topics studied at AS Level are education, research methods and a choice from families and households, culture and identity, or poverty and health. At A Level you will study education, theory, research methods, crime and deviance and a choice from one of families and households, culture and identity, poverty and health and one of beliefs in society, global development, the media or stratification and differentiation. All units are assessed by written examination.

Education investigates the role of the education system, differences in achievement by ethnicity, gender and social class and the possible explanations for these as well as how changes in government policy may impact on these inequalities.

Families and Households looks into the changing relationships within the family with reference to gender roles, domestic labour & power and patterns regarding marriage, divorce and childbearing and the resulting diversity of family and household structures. You will learn how the nature of childhood and the status of children have changed and investigate women’s exploitation, domestic violence, child abuse and family links to mental illness.

Culture and Identity looks at different conceptions of culture and identity in contemporary society. The role that age, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, sexuality and social class play in shaping our identities are considered as well as how culture and identify affects patterns of leisure and consumption.

Health investigates the unequal distribution of health and illness both in the UK and internationally, the roles played by medicine and health professionals as well as the study of the nature and social distribution of mental illness.

Beliefs in Society asks questions such as: Is religion still relevant to young people? What factors help to explain secularisation and the rise of religious fundamentalism in contemporary society? Does religion control and oppress us or can it be a force for liberation and social change? Why do people join cults or sects and what impact do these have on people’s lives?

The Media looks at how the media represents age, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability, the impact of globalisation and popular culture and the processes of selection and presentation of the content of the news looking at the extent to which the media is biased towards certain political views.

Crime and Deviance investigates who is most likely to commit crime? What factors account for the perceived rise in anti-social behaviour, violent crime and gangs? How have sociologists developed theories to understand crime and society more generally?

Sociology is a well-respected academic discipline. The course will be excellent preparation for further study at university and is useful for a number of careers including law, teaching, social work, journalism, television, the police, nursing, the civil service as well as the world of business and commerce.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements to our Consortium are 5 A*-C at GCSE or equivalent, including Maths and English, for an advanced level or Level 3 course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hitchin Boys' School directly.

Last updated date: 23 March 2015
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Key information

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

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