Topic areas: Education and Families & Households, Mass Media and Crime & Deviance

What is Sociology? 

Broadly, sociology is the study of social life in modern societies. Sociologists study social institutions and society’s social structure, and try to understand how they operate and relate to each other. Sociology provides students with an alternative view of the social world through the examination of theoretical perspectives, concepts and examples of real-life research. Sociology is also concerned with describing and explaining the patterns of inequality and conflict in society;


What does the course involve?

The course examines society through a number of topic areas;

  • Families and Households
  • Education
  • Crime and Deviance
  • The Media
  • Research methods


These topics allow for a broad understanding of the subject and some of the key thinkers who have contributed to our understanding of the social world. The following key questions may help you understand what the nature of the subject;
  • Do violent films and video games cause real-life violence?

  • Why do working class children do less well in education than middle class children?

  •  Is the criminal justice system racist?

  • Is there such a thing as a ‘typical criminal’?

  • Has the family lost its functions? 

What qualifications do I need? 

No specific entry requirements are needed other than those generally required for the Sixth Form, though an interest in social issues is important.  Written communication is important, therefore a good standard of written English is advantageous.


All units are assessed by written exam paper. The new AS level is fully co-teachable with the A level specification.


Future prospects 

Sociology combines well with most other subjects e.g. English, History, Psychology, Business & Economics and Media Studies. 

Sociology students frequently have successful careers in the Public Sector and Welfare e.g. the Probation Service, Social Services or the Police as well as a wider range of jobs in both the public and private sectors where the knowledge and skills they are equipped with during their studies can be applied. For work in the Civil Service and Local Government Service, Sociology has appeal because it is society with which these various agencies are routinely dealing. In industry these skills can be applied to management positions and roles with Human Resources.

Videos from the Department

Miss Heyes, Head of Social Sciences, discusses what's involved in the Sociology course, the subject matter and what to prepare for if you are interested in a qualification in Sociology

Some of our current students answer questions about why they chose Sociology and what advice they would give to someone considering taking the subject at A-level.