Martin Luther King, Tony Blair, Michelle Obama and past president, Ronald Reagan all have something in common – not only were they all very influential leaders in their own right but they have also all studied sociology. This should come as no surprise as the subject equips students with the ability to identify and understand the processes, methods and concepts that shape lives, create experiences, solve problems and explore possibilities in the modern world.
Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who lead in the fields of politics, law, business and education.
Sociologists understand social inequality, patterns of behaviour, forces for social change and resistance, and the workings of social systems. Sociology is an exciting discipline with expanding opportunities for a wide range of careers.
Method of assessment
A level: Assessment is by three written exams at the end of the course.
Paper 1: One compulsory section and two sections with an option of topics to choose from.
Paper 2: One compulsory case study consisting of stimulus material to draw from and based on preparatory work in lessons.
Paper 3: One compulsory section and one section to choose questions from 4 options.
Topic areas covered
Paper 1 – Socialisation and culture: looking at culture and identity, an option to study youth cultures and an option to study education.
Paper 2 – Methods of sociological study: looking at the practical methods used by sociologist in order to carry out research. Students will use these methods to plan, prepare and carry out their own practical. Research into a sociological issue of their choosing.
Paper 3 – Power and stratification: looking at ideas surrounding social class, distribution of wealth, inequality, gender, ethnicity and social mobility (50%) with an option to study crime and deviance, (50%).