What do you see?

Sociology is about examining and seeing the world from different perspectives.  Things are not always how they seem.

Departmental Aims

  • acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of contemporary social processes and social changes.

  • appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate.

  • understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research process.

  • develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society.

  • develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

Staff

Mrs H Robinson (HoD)

Mr K O’Neill

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What is Sociology?

  • Very few of us live our lives on our own. We are all in regular contact and interaction with other people.

  • Sociology is the study of society and of people and their behaviour.

  • Sociologists study a wide range of topics. Topics include education, families, Inequality and crime and deviance.

  • Sociologists create theories to explain human behaviour and the workings of society.

  • Sociologists use research to establish whether their theories are correct.

Reasons to study Sociology (from pupils and elsewhere….)

  • Gives insight into social issues.

  • Part of day to day life so it is easy to relate to the topics you study.

  • Better understanding of how society functions.

  • Makes more aware of our world.

  • It opens your eyes and makes you question everything that you previously took for granted.

  • Interesting course content and relevant skills development.

  • Rather than viewing the world through one lens, it helps you view the world from many different lenses or viewpoints.

Information on A level

We study the WJEC specifications.  These are the main topics we cover:

 

  1. Education

  2. Families

  3. Crime and deviance

  4. Inequality

  5. Theory and Methods

What you will be studying in Year 13

AS Unit 1: Acquiring Culture

Written examination; 1 hour 15 minutes

15% of the qualification: 60 marks

 

Section A 15 marks

This section comprises of one structured question on the key concepts and processes of cultural transmission, socialisation and the acquisition of identity.

 

Section B 45 marks

This section offers a choice between two options:

 

  • Families and households

  • Youth Cultures

Each option includes compulsory questions and a choice between two essay questions.

 

AS Unit 2: Understanding Society and Methods of Sociological Enquiry.

Written examination: 2 hours

25% of the qualification: 90 marks

 

Section A: Methods of Sociological Enquiry 35 marks

This section comprises one compulsory question.  This will be based on stimulus material which will be a synopsis of a piece of sociological research.

 

Section B: Understanding Society 55 marks

This section offers a choice between three options:

  • Education

  • Media

  • Religion

Each option includes compulsory questions based on data and a choice between two essay questions.

What you will be studying in Year 14

A2 Unit 2: Power & Control

Written examination: 2 hours

25% of the qualification: 70 marks

 

The questions in this section are on the theme of power.  There is a choice between four options:

 

  • Crime and Deviance

  • Health and Disability

  • Politics

  • World Sociology

Each option includes compulsory questions and a choice between two essay questions.

 

A2 Unit 4:  Social Inequality and Applied Methods.

Written examination :2 hours 15 minutes

35% of the qualification: 100 marks

 

Section A: Applied Methods of Sociological Enquiry 40 marks

This section comprises one compulsory question which will require learners to design, justify and evaluate a piece of sociological research.

 

Section B: Social Inequality 60 marks

The questions on this section are on the theme of social differentiation and stratification. These will include a compulsory question and a choice between two essay questions.

Previous students have said

Sociology is just a great subject as it picks apparent the flaws in our world and tries to give us solutions to try and solve these problems. I personally have really enjoyed learning it there hasn’t been a day that I didn’t enjoy coming to class and learning even when I was tired. Sociology has given me a range of skills such as breaking apart complex ideas, structuring my paragraphs in coherent ways, motivation to learn and discover more about the world and even general skills like to be more aware of my treatment of people to be more kind and patient with others.

Careers in Sociology

  • Teaching

  • Business and Management

  • Medicine/Care

  • Law

  • Crime

  • Government

  • Politics

 

Level Sociology gives you a strong foundation for further study of a range of academic subjects at degree level. ... Sociology can lead to a job in a variety of careers such as teaching, social work and social policy making, law, journalism and the civil service.

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Activities

Sociology Club

 

A central part of our department is the extracurricular activities we run. Every year two Sociology Prefects are appointed and they work alongside their teachers in setting up the Sociology Club.  The club involves watching documentaries relating to our course, dissecting media articles for use in the classroom as well as organising lively, topical debates.

 

Peer mentoring

 

The prefects work alongside their teachers to assist with the Peer Mentoring program. This involves Year 14 pupils mentoring and supporting Year 13 Sociology pupils.  It has become an integral part of the supportive environment within the department which is crucial to its academic success. It is an excellent addition to any CV or UCAS application.

 

Awards

 

Every year, The Michelle Donaghy Award is given to someone who embodies the dedication, energy and enthusiasm Miss Donaghy had for Sociology.  Miss Donaghy was our esteemed colleague who sadly passed away in 2012. Her legacy lives on in the Sociology Department and is honoured every year with the receipt of this award.

Tips!

Many of these tips are transferable to pretty much any subject, not just Sociology!

  1. Read the Papers. As a teacher I have found increasingly that the students who excel in A Level Sociology are the ones that are most interested in it. ...

  2. Ask Questions. ...

  3. (If you are not already) Get on Twitter. ...

  4. Make a Plan. ...

  5. Be Realistic.

Contact

38 Fortwilliam Park,

Belfast,

County Antrim

BT15 4AQ