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A level

Why do girls tend to outperform boys in the education system? What attracts people to join religious sects and cults? How do we explain the recent rise in violent knife and gun crime in the UK? Sociology is concerned with social behaviour and attempts to ask these kinds of questions about why society works the way it does and why people behave in the way they do. Forcing you to look at the world in new ways, you will have frequent opportunities for discussion, drawing on your own experiences and opinions, enabling you to relate these to relevant sociological ideas and evidence.

Studying Sociology will open doors to a range of further studies and apprenticeships, making you well prepared for careers in law, police work, journalism, teaching, human resources, social work, civil services, probation work, management and the world of business. Studying sociology is inherently interesting. It makes you look at the world in new ways and question your taken-for-granted assumptions. You will never be the same again!

Please note; may be required to pay course costs towards your study on this course. Click here for a full list of Course Costs

Course Content

As you work on individual, small group and whole-class tasks you will develop a range of transferable skills, including the ability to think sociologically by placing yourself in the shoes of others, to analyse and evaluate arguments and to present information logically.

Your studies will be varied, with visits from outside speakers, film screenings, trips and a Crime Conference with ex-prisoners talking about their offending and experience of prison.

Year 1:

You will look at the role and purpose of education; the significance of educational policies, teacher-pupil relationships; and home background the educational achievement of different social groups.

You will investigate different sociological views on the role of the family, the changing experience of childhood and relationships between couples.

You will also learn about the way in which sociologists study society, and the methods they use to do this.

Year 2:

You will study the causes of crime and why some groups are more likely to break the norms of society than others.

You will also study green and state crime, media representations of and influences on crime as well as its control and punishment.

You will study the social role of religion in society and religion in a global context including explanations for the rise of religious fundamentalism. Arguments about secularisation and the rise of new religious movements including cults and sects.


All topics are assessed by examination at the end of Year 2.

Special Features

In the past we have organised trips to Liverpool and Manchester, staying in university accommodation and visiting a range of places of sociological interest in both cities that have relevance to the syllabus.

We take students to conferences, and visiting speakers come into college. These have included a Crime Conference in which ex-prisoners talked about their offending and experience of the criminal justice system.

Is it for me?

You will enjoy Sociology A level and benefit from it if you:

  • are interested in the interaction between individuals and society;
  • would like an opportunity to apply sociological theory to contemporary social issues;
  • are keen to discuss current issues in society, such as whether prisons work and what started the riots in the summer of 2011.

Entry Requirements

At least 7 GCSEs at grade 4 in a range of subjects including Maths and English.

A grade 5 or equivalent is required in Sociology if taken at GCSE.

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