Sociology

Sociology Mission Statement

“To promote a stimulating and challenging environment based on mutual trust and respect in which the individual is encouraged to achieve the highest possible standards and take responsibility for their own learning. Students in Sociology will develop the skills of analysis, evaluation and interpretation among others and will become confident in their ability to explain the social world.”

  • Have you ever looked at people and wondered why they act in the way they do?
  • Have you ever looked at society and wondered why it’s like it is?

Sociology is an attempt to answer these questions. In Sociology we try to understand society, whilst recognising that society is always changing. We all belong to a society and are influenced by that society. Many years ago, John Donne said “No man is an island.” (He seemed to forget about women but no doubt he would believe no woman was an island either!) In other words, we are continually coming into contact with people – think about how many people you are in contact with each day. These people influence us and we influence them. Considering we are all individuals, we all live remarkably similar lives:

  • We more or less agree about what is right and wrong.
  • We all live in some kind of a family unit.
  • We have all experienced education in schools.
  • We all know how to behave in public.

Sociology is an attempt to go beyond these everyday observations. It is about applying theories to explain these – and other – patterns. Sociology addresses key questions that affect our everyday life such as why we live in families; why some children fail at school; why people commit crime; and why people vote.

As a subject, Sociology has clear applications for future employment as well as for future study. The demands it makes on the skills of communication and analysis mean that if you achieve a good grade in it, you are obviously an intelligent person with a good understanding of your society and of people in general.

What does the course involve?

Sociology is the study of people in social groups. The course examines trends in society and analytically assesses the influence of society on human beings. The course is academic in nature and looks for answers to important question in society such as:

  • ‘Why do girls do better than boys at G.C.S.E?’
  • ‘What is the role of education?’
  • ‘Are criminals mad or bad?’
  • ‘Why do people become criminals or commit suicide?’
  • ‘Is religion in decline?’
  • ‘Why are Muslims in Britain more religious?’
  • ‘Which methods can you use to study society?’

Students will need to consider and evaluate a range of answers to these questions and examine numerous sociological theories. The course is best suited to those who are interested in how society works and are willing to discuss their ideas in class. Students are required to have good English skills in order to present well reasoned arguments, both verbally and in writing. If you enjoy a challenge and are interested in the world, you will like sociology.

What course units will I study?

Year 1

  • Sociology of Education including Research Methods
  • Sociology of the Family

Year 2

  • Theory and Methods with Crime and Deviance
  • Sociology of Religion (Beliefs)

At the end of Year 1 there will be TWO papers which will be assessed by examination in the summer term of Year 12.

Paper 1- Education (with methods)

Paper 2 – Family

At the end of Year 2 there will be THREE papers which will be assessed by examination in the summer term of Year 13

Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods

Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (Family & Beliefs)

Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

What can I do after the course?

Sociology gives an excellent academic background to a number of careers. The subject is particularly useful to those who are interested in working with people. The developed understanding of society and skills gained can be particularly useful to careers such as:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Social Work
  • Sociology Degree
  • Research
  • Advertising
  • Human Resources
  • Nursing

“We pass the word around, we ponder how the case is put together by different people… we change our minds, we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down but by the unique ability of individual human beings to comprehend each other.” Lewis Thomas (1913 – 1993).

Student Quotes

“The teachers are ace and give up loads of their own time”

Year 12 Student

“All the staff really know their stuff and push you to achieve your best.”

Year 13 Student

Exam Boards

Useful Links

Department Staff

Head of Department:

  • Mr C Wheeler

Departmental Team:

  • Miss J Hyland
  • Mrs S Ingman
  • Mrs P Joyce