The aim of this course is to encourage a critical understanding of sociological ideas about society and social life. An exciting part of studying sociology is the way you can use it to help make sense of your own experiences in society. It can give you new ways of seeing the social world around you and lead to a questioning of things that are often taken for granted.
There are 2 units of study for each of the AS and A Level parts of the course:
The first year covers:
- Education with research methods: In this unit you will study the sociology of education and research methods. You will look at key issues in the sociology of education such as the underachievement of boys in school and why some ethnic minorities do not succeed in school. You will also consider relationships between teachers and pupils, looking specifically at the concepts of labelling and the self-fulfilling prophecy. We will also focus on research methods in the context of education.
- Families and households: This topic aims to introduce key sociological terms and concepts such as cereal packet family, life expectancy, instrumental/expressive role and globalisation. You will focus on the changes in family and the diversity of contemporary family and household structures such as same-sex families and reconstituted family. Did you know that divorce rates rose in 1993 to 180,00 from 27,000 in 1961? We will explore the reasons for increase such as changes in law and society and rising expectations of marriage. You will also study the role and relationships in families, the nature of childhood, for instance the disappearance of childhood because of globalised media and lastly demographic trends such as immigration, birth/death rates and ageing population. In 2015, 65 years over accounted for 17.8% of the UK population and projected to 24.6 in 2045.
The second year covers:
- Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods: In this unit you will study criminology and its associated methodology. If you are thinking of studying criminology at degree level or getting a job in the criminal justice system this module will be perfect for you. You will study crime and its causes in relation to the role of globalisation, the effect of mass media and how social media caused the London riots in 2011. You will understand how governments are responsible for state crimes including assassination, genocide and torture. If you are interested in why and who commits crime this is the module for you.
- The media: In this topic you will explore the numerous roles and relationships between the media and contemporary society. You will study the significance of new media, the relationship between ownership and control, who is the big six media corporations that control majority of the media? Why do sociologists refer to Rupert Murdoch as the ‘Phantom prime minister’? You will also look at the processes and selection of the news, representations of age, social class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability that views individuals in stereotypes such as working class individuals being seen as chavs and children perceived as innocent and angels. The hypodermic syringe model will appear in the relationship between the mass media and audiences. Is our behaviour shaped by the mass media? Is violence imitated from films, cartoons and TV shows just as the case of the killing of James Bugler.