what will we study in the as sociology course

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    A Level Student
What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of the society around you. It investigates
how it affects you; your personality, your opportunities and your

It investigates relationships between people, their social groups
and institutions around them - in other words, it considers people
like you and how social class, gender and ethnicity affect
opportunities and how you are influenced by your family, school
and religious beliefs.

                     Sociology is a subject full of different ideas
                     and lots of debate - sociologists do not agree
                     on much!!

                     For this reason, there is no one correct
                     answer to a sociological question such as;
                     "what makes a person commit a crime?'" - all
                     points of view are valid.

Sociologists try to answer questions about the world around us so
that we can:

            better understand ourselves and others

            remove inequality and improve our society

            discover what influences our behaviour

They answer these questions by using statistics, conducting
detailed studies and developing theories on people's behaviour.

Within your AS and A Level Sociology you will learn about different
Sociologists findings and ideas and their competing explanations.
 Sociology is the study of the social world - it is the study of

What will we study in the AS Sociology course?
You will follow the AQA GCE specification. We recommend that
you visit the exam board‟s website, which can be found at:


Unit 1: Families and Households

   sociological views on the role and function of the family

   changes brought to the family by industrialisation

   gender roles and issues of inequality within the family

   different types of families and households

   marriage and divorce

   government policy that affects the family

   changing expectations of age and childhood

   Trends in birth rates, death rates and family size in the UK

       How will I be assessed on Family and Households?

     This unit has a 1 hour exam in January which will contain:

    3 short answer questions and 2 extended answer questions

Unit 2: Education with Sociological Methods

   sociological views on the role and function of education

   government policy and changes made to improve education

   the relationship between education and the economy

   explanations for different levels of
    achievement of students by ; social class;
    ethnicity; gender

   internal and external influences on
    schooling and success

   the application of research methods to the study of education

   the different views on which methods sociologists should use

   advantages and disadvantages of different research methods

   sampling techniques

   the influences that exist in choosing a research method

How will I be examined on Education & Sociological Methods?

    This unit has a 2 hour exam in the Summer which will contain:
     5 short answer questions and 4 extended answer questions

What will we study in the A2 Sociology course?

Unit 3: Beliefs in Society

   the significance of religion in the modern world

   the decline of religious belief and behaviour in the contemporary

               does religion cause or prevent social change?

             different types of religious organisations (e.g.
    churches/ cults/sects and denominations)

   explanations for involvement in religious

          How will I be examined on Beliefs in Society?

      This unit has a 1 hour 30 minute exam that will contain:

    1short answer questions and two extended answer questions.

Unit 4: Crime & Deviance with Theory & Methods

   different sociological explanations for criminal/deviant behaviour

   the relationship between crime and ...
    social class
    geographical location

   the sociology of suicide

   globalisation and crime in contemporary society (including mass
    media; green crime; human rights crime and state crime)

   the role of the criminal justice system and other agencies in
    crime control, crime prevention and punishment.

                          theoretical and methodological
                           implications connected with the study of

                          connections between social theory and
                           research methods and the study of crime
                           & deviance.

    How will I be examined on Crime & Deviance and Theory &

            This unit has a 2 hour exam that will contain:

     2 short answer questions and 4 extended answer questions

How is the whole course broken down?

There are 2 modules in AS Sociology and 2 modules in A2
Sociology. Together these 4 units construct you ‘A’ Level. You
can decide to leave after one year with an AS qualification or you can
continue for a second year and gain an A Level instead. Your AS
qualification is worth a half of your full A Level so it really does

  UNIT ONE                             UNIT TWO

  Families &                           Education &
  Households             +             Sociological
  40% of AS                            60% of AS
  20% of A                             30% of A

  mark: ____                           mark: ____
         60                                   90

  Exam is Jan 2009                     Exam is May 2009

                      = AS mark: ____

  UNIT THREE                           UNIT FOUR

  Belief in Society          +     Crime & Deviance
                                   /Theory & Methods

  20% of A Level                       30% of A Level

  mark: ____                           mark: ____
         60                                   90
  Exam is Jan 2010                     Exam is June 2010

                         = A Level
How is the course content broken down?

Year 12

 September –December 2008.       Introduction to Sociology.
                                 Families & Households.
 January 2009                    Families Revision and Families
                                 AS exam.
 Februray 2009 – May 2009        Education and Sociological
 May 2009                        Education and Sociological
                                 Methods Revision and
                                 Education/Methods AS exam.

 June-July 2009                  Begin Belief in Society.

 Year 13

 September –December 2009.       Belief in Society.
 January 2010                    Belief in Society revision and
                                 Belief in Society A2 exam.
 Februray 2009 – May 2009        Crime & Deviance and
                                 Sociological Methods.
 May 2009                        Crime & Deviance and
                                 Sociological Methods Revision.

 June 2010                       Crime & Deviance and
                                 Sociological Methods A2 exam.

What will I be expected to do during the course?
The course is packed full of new ideas and exciting debates which
makes lessons varied and exciting.

Sociology is not just about discussing what you
think, most of the time we will be looking at the
views of sociologists and it is here that you will have
the chance to offer your opinion. Before we can do
this, however, like any other subject, you will have
to learn about the sociologists, their theories and
their findings.

There is a lot of material to get through during the course and because
of this we have very high expectations of you. In return for your hard
work you should also have expectations of your teachers.

Expectations of You                         Expectations of Us

Attendance at all lessons                   Work to be set if teacher absent.

Meeting all deadlines                       Homework returned
                                            to you within two weeks.
Participate fully in lesson
activities.                                 To provide varied and engaging

No holidays during term time                Support and advice

Punctuality at lessons                      Prompt starts to lessons

Respecting others' individuality            Quality materials and course

To try your hardest, always!                Regularly monitor your progress

To complete regular
Independent study outside of
your lessons and in addition to

                Should you fail to live up to our high expectations you could
                expect the following sanctions:

                   Sociology 'Cause for Concern' Monitoring.
                   Referral to the Sixth Form Team / Sociology study clinic.
                   Sociology department „student contract‟.
   Contact with home.
How do I best organise myself?
As simple as it sounds you are more likely to be able to achieve a
better grade from your work if you can be organised in your time
and your materials used.


Do not leave your work until the last minute –
you will be given plenty of time for each major piece
of work as it is expected that you will spend quality
time on it, do not leave it until the night before!

Revise throughout the course – be prepared for your mock
exams, as when you come to the real exams you are not revising
things for the first time.

Do not book holidays or ‘long weekends’ away during the
course, the work you miss will not be covered again later in the
course. You must catch up all work missed if absent.

Organise social events for weekends, ideally Friday or Saturday

Your own material:

You should organise all your Sociology notes and handouts
in the following way.

Have a sociology folder (this will be provided for you in

1. Keep your notes in the order done in class

2. Date or number your pages

3. Hole punch lesson handouts and file in the correct place

4. Use subject dividers for topics within a module

5. Have a section for exam work : your practice answers
                                  exemplar answers
                                  student friendly markscheme
                                        essay technique material
Where do I get help?

The majority of students studying AS and A Level Sociology are
new to it and really enjoy the new ideas the subjects gives them.

Because Sociology is new to you it can take a bit of time to get
used to the subject so don't panic if you find it difficult at times,
especially in the first term!

There are many ways to get help in sociology ranging from asking
your teacher to visiting the shops or surfing the net.

Your teacher      during the lesson or
                  arrange an appointment outside of the lesson

The library       within H72 there are many helpful textbooks and

                  the school library contains a sociology section
                  as well as many relevant books in other sections

The internet      see the list below for good sites and also check
                  department‟s VLE site.

Revision Books available to buy from most bookshops, eg,
               Waterstones / W.H.Smith in Huddersfield, White
               Rose Centre etc.

Suggested Reading List


Any AS and A' Level sociology textbook will help if you look
under the correct chapter. Don't forget there may be special
chapters for gender and ethnicity. As a general rule look under:

   Families and Households
   Education
   Sociological Methods
   Sociological Theory
   Religion
   Crime and Deviance

Sociology an Introduction - Stephen Moore
Sociology for AS-Level - Moore, Chapman, Aiken
Sociology for A2 Level - Moore, Aiken, Chapman
Sociology In Focus - Paul Taylor et al
Sociology Themes & Perspectives – M Haralambos (very useful!)

Investigating Families and Households - Nik Jorgenson
Investigating Education and Training - Paul Trowler
How to do Social Research - Dunsmuir and Williams
Investigating Religion - John Bird
Investigating Crime and Deviance - Stephen Moore

Essay Practice and Skills:

AS Sociology Families and Households - Philip Allan Updates
AS Sociology Education - Philip Allan Updates
Do Brilliantly AS Sociology - Collins Publications
Do Brilliantly A2 Sociology - Collins Publications

Definitions of Concepts:

A-Z Sociology - Lawson and Garrod

Useful Websites
Most of these sites have relevant links so be prepared to explore.
There is a lot of good material appearing on the net but beware of
sites aimed at degree level and above. Do not be put off if you find
yourself face to face with Talcott Parson's own work on the screen
- move onto a more student friendly page!!

Sociology Learning Support. www.chrisgardner.clara.net

Sociology Online. www.sociologyonline.co.uk (games & quizzes)

Sociology Central www.sociology.org.uk

www.s-cool.co.uk (excellent for revision and essay practice)

www.esher.ac.uk/scextranet/sociology (excellent for revision
and essay plans)

www.hartland64.freeserve.co.uk - good for essay plans

Cardiff University: Introduction to Sociology Web Site

The Socioweb. www.socioweb.com/~markbl/socioweb

A Sociological tour through cyberspace.

The Association for the Teaching of Social Science

The Home Office Web Site. www.homeoffice.gov.uk

The national statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk

Don’t forget to keep checking the Sociology Department VLE
for useful books and websites. Remember that you can also
post your recommendations on there!

What skills are the Examiners looking for?
There are two different assessment objectives that your work will
be graded on when doing Sociology. These are:
AO1: an examination of your sociological knowledge and
AO2: an examination of your skills of identification, analysis,
      interpretation and evaluation

How to gain marks for AO1 – knowledge & understanding

 use some sociologists names to support arguments

 use sociological concepts in your answers

 include sociological theories to help develop answers

 use a range of different ideas when evaluating a
  perspective/concept on „f‟ questions

 provide details about sociological findings

 be precise and use statistics and dates, small quotes

How to gain marks for AO2 - skills

 keep going back to the question – use the words from it in your

 structure your work – plan it first and include a conclusion

 use „trigger terms‟ such as “however, a contrasting view, in
  comparison”, so that the examiner can see that you are

 use a variety of different perspectives and arguments –
  especially on „f‟ questions

 use methods to discuss strengths and weaknesses

Don’t forget to refer to your student mark scheme for further advice for
the specific assessment requirements for each unit/paper.
 Summer Holiday Homework

Before we begin the actual course in the first few weeks in
September we will cover a short introduction to sociology that will
outline some of the key concepts, theme and theories that are
                  central to the course content. In preparation for
                  this, you need to complete the following piece of
                  work over the summer and this must then be
                  brought to your first sociology lesson!

Task: The Start of the Day across Different Cultures.

   You need to write a diary account of a typical morning of
    your life. This should cover exact details of everything you do
    for the first two to three hours of the day.

   Ask two other people you know to do this
    for you too.

   Analyse your diary account and those
    given to you by the other people. Make a
    list of any differences and similarities between the different
    diaries in terms of things that people do.

Don’t forget to bring this to the first lesson!


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