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SOCIOLOGY

A LEVEL

It’s only human.

12,000 years ago the largest society numbered about 100.

Today we’ve got megacities peopled by more than 24 million.

How did we get here? And how has our world changed as a result of societal evolution?

Welcome to Sociology – the scientific study of society and human behaviour.

Everyone’s an armchair sociologist – opining on how society works based on their own experiences.

As a real Sociologist, you’ll be asking moral and political questions about how society works, defining hypotheses and then conducting research using four very different methods to prove or disprove those theories.

On this course you’ll explore in great detail these research methodologies before carrying out your own.

The wide range of topics you’ll study on this course also includes socialisation, sociological enquiry and power.

Socialisation defines influences and how they inform our identity.

When we’re young, typically families are our entire social world, with our parents or guardians the source of primary socialisation. But television, the internet, and the wider media are also huge influences on our personality and behaviour – and we’ll study how, and why, as part of this course.

We’ll also look into societal challenges such as inequality.

We got started today looking at the first examples of society – hunter gatherers. As time passed, we became first a horticultural and pastoral society, then agrarian, and through the revolution of the same name, industrial. And today, we live in a post-industrial society, where wealth is generated not by manufacturing and raw materials, but by knowledge, services and technology.

As societies changed, so surpluses grew, and with them – inequality.

It is often argued that societal change is driven by technological change. But technology also drives inequality. On this Sociology A Level course, we’ll assess how society holds together – or goes askew – during intense phases of political, cultural and technological change, population growth and economic disruption.

  • Why do people go to university?
  • Why do some people like hip hop, while others prefer musicals?

We sometimes need a microscope, sometimes a telescope, to answer sociological questions.

To demonstrate your understanding you’ll be writing lots of essays and devouring research that seeks to understand patterns. The skills you’ll learn on this course will prepare you wonderfully well for the academic rigour of degree-level studies.

During the course, you’ll have the chance to learn from visiting lecturers and enjoy trips to the Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives, and Manchester Crown Court – where you’ll have the chance to enact a criminal case and reach a sentencing verdict.

LESSON TIME!

Today’s lesson is an introduction to crime and deviance and investigating why the BAME community is overrepresented in the prison population.

Study data in ethnicity and crime including statistics shared by the Ministry of Justice showing the arrest, stop and search, prosecution and sentencing rates vary greatly between ethnicities.

Do the police and courts treat social groups differently? There are no right and wrong answers in Sociology. Analysing societal issues from different perspectives is an important part of being a sociologist.

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What’s next?

Accordion Content

As a sociologist your skills will be put to good use in such diverse areas as crime scene investigation, social research, youth work, probation services and the criminal justice system.

Popular roles among Sociology graduates include:

  • Marketing officer
  • Journalist
  • Social worker
  • Counsellor
  • Teacher
  • Public relations officer

Degrees popular among Xaverian Sociology students include:

  • Business and Management
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Marketing
Paper 1: Socialisation and Culture

2hr 30 mins exam worth 40% of the A-level

Paper 2: Methods of Sociological enquiry

1hr 45 mins exam worth 20% of the A-level

Paper 3: Power and Stratification

2hr 30 mins exam worth 40% of the A-level

 
 
Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 5 from English and Maths (4s will be considered)

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

3 final exams

Course type:

Linear A-level

Exam board:

Eduqas

Sociology is taught by three very experienced teachers, all of whom are subject specialists with examining experience. Sociology is an essay-based subject and you’ll learn how to
construct reasoned debate using informed opinion and exploring alternative viewpoints.

I believe my Sociology Teacher is the best teacher I have ever had, and she made the subject easy to understand and study. Xaverian has helped me expand my social and academic skills and made me feel confident about going to university.

Shahed Aboutwerat, Sociology A Level

Pre-U courses

Choose this A Level and during your second year at Xaverian take advantage of a eight-week crash course in undergraduate life through our close ties with Manchester University.

Weekly two-hour sessions during your autumn term focus on some of the most important study skills for your university success – including critical thinking, oral communication, essay writing and interpreting complex information. 

You’ll learn through methods familiar to higher education students – including lectures, reading tasks and interactive group discussion. 

Taking part in the Pre-U course and you’ll also receive a one A Level grade reduction in the standard entry requirements if you apply to Manchester University.

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