Exam Board – OCR
Qualification – A Level H580
Entry requirements – GCSE grade 5 in English and a humanities subject
A sociologist is someone concerned with understanding society in a disciplined way. They will naturally be interested in the events that engage peoples’ ultimate beliefs, their moments of tragedy, grandeur and ecstasy, but they will also be fascinated by the commonplace, the everyday. It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this – things are not always as they seem. Social reality turns out to have many layers of meaning. The discovery of each new layer changes the perception of the whole.
“An enjoyable and fun subject, that really gets you thinking. It opens you up to different views and opinions and helps you to make sense of the society in which you live.”
Exploring socialisation, culture and identity (paper 1) explores why we are the way we are and investigates the key factors which influence and create both society and us as individuals; analysing the formation of culture, the process of socialisation and the creation of identities. This unit includes youth culture, giving students the opportunity to discover the origins and purpose of teddy boys, hippies, skinheads and punks alongside modern subcultures.
Researching and understanding social inequalities (paper 2) introduces and explores the methods of sociological enquiry when exploring patterns in inequality within social class, gender, race and age, and looks at whether certain social groups are at an advantage or disadvantage, not just economically but also in education, crime, the work place and the mass media.
Debates in contemporary society (paper 3) engages students in theoretical debates:
- section a – globalisation and the digital social world explores the modern world, examining the impact of globalisation and the advancement in digital technology and forms of communication
- section b – crime and deviance explores issues of power and control. The social construction of crime and deviance are emphasised and the role of agencies of social control and the law are explored
What doors will this open up for me?
A Level sociology can lead to a wide range of higher education studies where analytical and research skills are required, including the various social sciences and humanities subjects. Sociology prepares you for a wide variety of career paths where an understanding of social issues is required, including social welfare, healthcare, education, politics and the media.