Sociology is an essay-based subject, which involves the ‘study of society’ and it is a very popular GCSE and A Level subject at Mascalls Academy. The term ‘society’ refers to the world around you, your community, your country, and all the different people and groups that exist, with their different cultures, beliefs, values, languages, religions and so on. It gives students the chance to study and understand why things are the way they are, and why people behave in certain ways.
Examples of issues that students look at include: Why do some people commit crime? Why do girls perform much better at school than boys? Why are we seeing an increase in divorce and a decrease in people getting married? Why is there so much inequality and poverty in the country?
Sociology gives students with an interest in social issues, social justice and current affairs the opportunity to gain a valuable understanding and insight into how society works and how the structures and processes in society inevitably shape who we are, how we behave and many other aspects of our lives and life chances. Students develop an understanding of how individuals, groups, institutions and societies are interdependent; the way in which they cooperate and conflict with each other, and the potential causes for the social differences between individuals.
Students are encouraged to think critically and analytically, and to make informed judgements and arguments based on evidence and theories. Students are asked to reflect on their own experiences of the world in which they live and to develop an increased awareness and understanding of the world they live in and the role they play in it.
At Mascalls Academy we follow the AQA Specification, which requires you to write 20-30 mark essays, where your grade is based on three papers:
Paper 1 - 80 marks - 2 hours - 33% of A Level
Education; Methods in Context; Theory and Methods
Paper 2 - 80 marks - 2 hours - 33% of A Level
Families and Households; Stratification and Differentiation
Paper 3 - 80 marks - 2 hours - 33% of A Level
Crime and Deviance; Theory and Methods
GCSE level 6 or above in English (Language or Literature) is essential, as the ability to structure coherent essays is a critical skill for this course. GCSE level 5 or above in a humanities subject is also required.
No previous subject knowledge is needed. Students will need to possess well-developed writing techniques, effective research and study skills, and a desire to undertake personal and professional development through work based learning.
Sociology is a great choice of subject for people who want a career in social work, and is also useful in a number of other careers like marketing, advertising, public relations, journalism or law. Sociology complements the study of Psychology, English and Media Studies.