'Neither the life of the individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.'
C. Wright Mills
Sociology is the study of the social and cultural world. Sociologists study patterns of human behaviour and belief, focusing on the ways in which people act, interact and form relationships. These relationships structure our lives and represent our society and culture.
College excursion to Hull Prison
Sociology A level examination consists of three terminal papers, all taken in June of the final year of the course.
UNIT 1: FAMILY & HOUSEHOLDS: Changes in family and household structures; changing patterns in marriage; cohabitation; separation; divorce and childbearing; gender and power relationships; reasons for changes in birth rates, death rates and family size since 1900; state policy and the family.
UNIT 2: EDUCATION WITH SOCIOLOGICAL METHODS: the role of the education system: explanations of educational achievement resulting from social class, gender, ethnicity; relationships and processes within schools; the significance of state educational policies.
SOCIOLOGICAL METHODS: different methods and sources of data, for example questionnaires, interviews, observation techniques.
UNIT 1: BELIEFS IN SOCIETY The role of the religion in contemporary society; the influence it has, whether it is declining in today's western culture, looking at mass media, globalisation and popular culture on religion and religion and fundamentalism.
UNIT 2: THEORY AND METHODS & CRIME AND DEVIANCE: different explanations of crime, deviance, social control and social order; the social distribution of crime and deviance by age, social class, ethnicity, gender and locality; globalisation and crime; the mass media; crime control, prevention and punishment; the sociological study of suicide and its implications for methodology.
Students participate in a visit and sit in a morning session of York Magistrates Court, they have a day tour of Hull Prison and an interview with a prisoner as well as a visit to London to The Courts of Criminal Justice to participate in a mock trial of a real case.
The most obvious career choices are Social Work, Probation Service, Police and Human Resource Management. Many large companies value skills of sociologists as they recognise that their chief concern is people and consequently appoint people with sociology qualifications into their management training schemes. 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, to police work, to social work and health care; the list is endless.