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Why study this subject?
If you want to understand how a plant has developed, you might look at the properties of the soil, the levels of light or the air temperature of its environment. If you want to understand how an individual has grown into the person they are today, you might look at their family, education or cultural background. Sociologists look at how wider society shapes us and influences our beliefs and behaviours. If you are the kind of person that likes to ask questions about the world around you, then sociology is the subject for you.
What will I learn?
You will study six topics throughout the course: Core sociological theories such as functionalism and Marxism; Families; Education; Crime and deviance; Social stratification and inequality within society; Research methods. Throughout the course you will be required to debate ideas, present persuasive arguments in essays, analyse classic sociological theory and develop your own opinions about the world around you. Please note that sociology and psychology are two very different subjects, so do not opt for this subject assuming you will be studying the brain or conducting experiments. Although they both look at people, sociology studies group of people whilst psychology studies individuals.
How will I be assessed?
Your class work and homework will be regularly marked and feedback given will ensure you know how to improve your progress and attainment. There will be two exams at the end of the course, each lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes. Your final grade will reflect your performance in these exams; there is no coursework in this subject. The exam will contain a mixture of short answer questions and essay style questions. You will also be required to apply your knowledge to analyse a range of sources.
What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?
A GCSE in Sociology at a grade that reflects your work ethic and commitment.
What can this qualification lead to afterwards?
Students who have studied sociology will have a better understanding of why people think or act the way they do, making them ideal for any jobs that involve interacting with members of the public, such as teaching, social work, counselling or policing. The critical thinking, analytical and communication skills students develop will also help those interested in a career in law, business or journalism.
After securing a good GCSE grade in sociology you will have the option to continue with the subject at A-Level. The most obvious higher education path would be to study a degree in sociology but due to the diversity of the subject you are able to choose a vast array of courses, to name just a few: psychology, media studies, criminology, history, geography, social work, English, law, politics and journalism.
How much homework will I have to do?
You will be expected to take an interest in current news stories and how you might apply them to your class work and extended learning.
Where can I find out more about this qualification?
If you have any queries you can see Mrs Bonner in room 221. Or use the link to the specification we are following http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/sociology/gcse/sociology-8192