The function of Sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden. Pierre Bourdieu
Sociology is the study of societies and, unlike other disciplines, it looks at how people live, behave and work together in groups. It asks questions about the world that we live in and tries to explain why it is the way it is.
Why do some groups do better in education than others? Who benefits from politics? Why do some people commit more crime than others? What influence does religion have on our lives? Do we live in a postmodern world?
Students are not required to have taken Sociology at GCSE, because only at AS/A level do they really start to use a theoretical approach to the subject. Students will learn skills, such as evaluation of theories, essay technique and how to respond to information. It is a discipline highly-regarded by universities and employers alike. Sociology encourages good communication skills (written and/or oral), researching and information-accessing skills, and the ability to work independently and co-operatively in groups. It also teaches students how to receive and present opposing arguments in a balanced manner, and to take a pro-active role in debate.
At A level, the Department follows the AQA specification. Assessment takes place at the end of the two-year course, based on three exam papers. There is no coursework in Sociology. Topics include Education with Theory and Method, Culture and Identity and Beliefs in Society, and Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods.
If students are interested in current affairs and would like to find out more about the way society behaves and functions, then they should think about Sociology as an A level or degree option. Students of Sociology go onto a hugely diverse range of careers, from jobs in the media, such as researchers and journalists, to teaching and lecturing, police work, social work and health care. The list is endless. Sociology is a broad discipline and will give students a better understanding about the world they live in.
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