Subject Overview

Sociology is a fascinating and exciting study of how our society works and how people behave in various social groups. Sociology enables students to engage with many of the most important issues and topics which affect our society today e.g. gender, ethnicity, religion, mass media, the class system, age etc.

For instance, do you know how many different kinds of families we have in our culturally diverse society? How important is our upbringing? If we are not raised by humans, are we still human? Are you prepared to engage in debates about important issues concerned with families, marriage, divorce, and re-marriage?

Do you know about gender socialisation? Do we still encourage boys to be tough and girls to be gentle? Why? Your study of the sociology of The Family will help you to understand why these issues are often controversial.

What is the most frequently occurring crime in Britain? You should try asking your friends and family this question. See how many of them believe it is some form of violent crime against the person e.g. murder, assault etc. When you study the sociology of Crime and Deviance you will be able to tell them they are wrong and what is more you will be able to tell them why they are wrong!

During this two-year course, there are also exciting things to find out about Education, e.g. what is ‘the hidden curriculum?’, the world of Work e.g. what is a ‘glass ceiling’?, Media e.g. what is the influence of the media on own views and opinions, is the media biased?

We use lots of teaching methods to enable each student to achieve to the highest level possible. These methods include teacher talk, some note-taking, lots of debate, discussion, argument, role-play, analysing television programmes and newspaper articles, group work, pair work, individual work and presentations. You will be encouraged to be proactive and to take responsibility for your own learning by doing independent research using the Internet, books and sociological magazines.

Course Content

Unit 1: The Sociology of Families and Education
Unit 2: The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification (class, ethnicity and gender)

Exams and Assessment

Unit Topic Marks % Duration
Unit 1: Studying Society: Education and Families 50% 1¾ hours
Unit 2: The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification 50% 1¾ hours

There are no coursework requirements for GCSE Sociology.

Why choose Sociology?

Sociology is one of the liberal arts (and I would argue one of the most inherently interesting). Sociology prepares us for a lifetime of change, developing our appreciation of diversity, love of learning, writing and study skills, as well as a knowledge base about human behaviour, social organisation, and culture. If you are a person who doesn’t necessarily follow the crowd (but are fascinated by their behaviour), someone who is truly interested in what is going on in the world, then Sociology should interest you.

Secondly, the field helps us to look more objectively at the society in which we live. It directs attention to how the parts of society fit together, as well as the causes and consequences of social change.

Sociology complements Psychology, English, History, Citizenship, and Religious Education

Many people go on to study Sociology at degree and post-degree level. After this they might work in the fields of Journalism, Psychology, Education, Research, Media and many more.