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This course aims to encourage students to look at society with an enquiring mind. The aims of the course are to gain an understanding of how individuals relate to the rest of society and to understand the process through which people are integrated into their particular cultures. To this end, we look at what makes up a culture before looking into detail at how individuals are made into "social animals".

Years 10 -1 1

GCSE Sociology is now a precursor to the popular ‘A’ Level course which has been offered at the college for several years. The course is very accessible for students and provides a good basis for those who may be considering progressing to ‘A’ level in the future.

During the two years of study, students will learn basic skills in Sociology, such as how Sociologists conduct research and the factors involved in choosing a research methodology. For example, we may look at a case study of crime and consider how best to go about gathering data on criminals. During Year 10 students will also learn about how individuals are socialised into being members of society through various "agents" of socialisation such as the family, the mass media and the education system.

Year 11 will be mostly taken up with the study of specific topics in Sociology, for instance Crime and Deviance, which looks at the reasons why individuals choose to commit crimes and some of the possible solutions to this problem. Assessment is through three module examinations, two of which will be taken at the end of Year 11 and will contribute 50% to the final grade. Students may have the opportunity to resit modules if they wish.

A Level

At A Level assessment is through module exams and coursework. The main areas of study are:

  • The Individual and Society (looking at the make-up of culture and the formation of "cultural identities")
  • Culture and Socialization (focusing, in particular, on the family)
  • Sociological research skills
  • Globalisation & the digital social world
  • Power and Control (Crime and Deviance)
  • Social Inequality and Difference (which focuses on the reasons and nature of poverty and inequality in society)

Sociology has proved to be a popular course and has contributed to the range of A Level courses available to students wishing to continue into further education at Sir Harry Smith.