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Unit 1: Culture and Identity; Families and Households; Wealth, Poverty and Welfare

You will explore different conceptions of culture, including subculture and mass culture as well as the socialisation process and the sources of concepts of identity. You will also look at the nature of childhood and demographic trends in the United Kingdom, alongside definitions and distribution of wealth and poverty, social response to poverty and welfare.

Unit 2: Education; Health; Sociological Methods

You will study the role of education in society, the relationships that exist within school settings and the differential social achievement. You will study health, illness and disability as both biological and social constructs, looking at the distribution of healthcare among various social groups and classes. You will consider sociological methods, plus the ethical guidelines for conducting research and mathematical and scientific methods used to carry out and analyse the results of sociological investigations.

Unit 3: Beliefs in Society; Global Development; Mass Media; Power and Politics

Options include: Beliefs in society - religious faith in society, including religious traditions, science and religion, and the relationship between religious beliefs and social change and stability. Global development - theories of development as well as underdevelopment and global inequality, globalisation and trade and their influence on culture, politics and economics. Mass media - the relationship between ownership and control of the mass media, globalisation of media and how it represents age, social class, ethnicity, gender sexuality and disability. Power and politics - theories of the nature and distribution of power and political participation, the role of political parties, pressure and interest groups and new social movements as well as the role of mass media.

Unit 4: Crime and Deviance; Stratification and Differentiation; Theory and Methods

The first option is crime and deviance, which focuses on theories of crime, deviance and social control, the globalisation of crime in contemporary society and the distribution of crime among various social groups. The second option looks at theories that explain the multiple social layers that exist within society and how they are defined, the inequalities between them in terms of opportunity. The required portion is an in-depth study of sociological theory and methods.


Please see page 26 for general entry requirements. In addition, to study this subject you will need a grade B or above in GCSE



Each unit of this course is assessed by a written exam.


Sociology is a good preparation for study in Higher Education and for a wide variety of careers. A sociological background is of particular value for management, market research, teaching, law, journalism, administration, nursing, social work, the police and business.