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A Level Sociology

Studying Sociology at BSix
Nick Abercrombie justifies Sociology "because we take our everyday world for granted – it is simply there – we do not typically question it or ask why it takes the form that it does…" (2004). Hence, "the Sociologist is someone concerned with understanding society in a disciplined way…a person intensively, endlessly, shamelessly interested in the doings of men (and women)" (Peter Berger, 1963).

You will study topics such as:

  • Family: how we learn social rules- what happens if we don't? The 'warm bath' versus the dark-side and overloaded electric circuit; whether the cereal packet family is normal and ideal

  • Education: does education empower or control? Does everyone achieve regardless of class, age, gender, ethnicity and region? How do labels affect achievement?

  • Methods – how do we know that? What's the evidence; how did they do the research? Is there any sort of bias? Do the conclusions really follow from the evidence? Who paid the researcher to study this topic? Does theory determine evidence (top down) or does evidence affect theory?

Your sociology teachers aim for blended learning using a variety of printed and electronic resources underpinned by tactile, role play, debating, mind-mapping, bouncing question activities. The subject can make you angry, surprised, intrigued or supported.

What kind of essays do A level Sociologists get to write?

  • To what extent are we a child-centred society?

  • Examine the role of pupil subcultures in explaining differential educational achievement

  • Assess the extent to which practical, ethical and theoretical considerations affect a sociologist’s choice of method

Beyond the classroom
If you are interested in progressing to university you can get involved with the College’s Raising Aspirations programme which will include trips to universities as well as specialist speakers and other events related to the study of sociology.

With an A Level in Sociology you might choose to progress to university to study the subject at a higher level. Finding a job with a Sociology degree should not be difficult. Graduates from this discipline possess a wealth of skills and experience that can be applied across many sectors and in a variety of industry roles. The understanding of people and their behaviour goes a long way in many sectors, while the academic skills Sociology graduates have developed whilst at university make them a stand-out candidate for many professional positions. Jobs that you might be suited for could be within the public sector, health care industry, charity work, management or human resources.

Recommended reading
Sociology Review journal – for up to date research
'Guardian' (Society page, every Wednesday) – contemporary moral panics and government policy
www.s-cool.co.uk - for topic specific background arguments
www.socionet.net for an overview of dead and alive Sociologists
Introducing Sociology (Osborne & Van Loon) - overview in cartoon format

AQA Sociology (Newbold, Peace, Swain & Wright) – the textbook
If you have any questions about our courses please contact the Admissions team on 0800 3892 947 or via e-mail to info@bsix.ac.uk and we will arrange for a curriculum specialist to respond to your enquiry
Gill Boocock has 18 years of A level Sociology teaching with 11 years working as an assistant examiner. She has been teaching sociology with great success at BSix since September 2008 – with a mission to enthuse a passion for Sociology. Gill says that her mantra is sociological 'knowledge is power' and...'power is knowledge' (Michel Foucault) meaning that... I'll let you unpack this one!
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