Although Sociology is presented ignorantly by some as an area of study not to be taken too seriously, it is in fact a vital part of Cambridge University’s ‘Politics, Psychology, Sociology’ degree; an option in the renowned ‘PPE’ course at Oxford; as well as being on the LSE’s list of recognised subjects. In recent years, the destinations of Sociology A-level students have included Geography and Theology (both at Cambridge) and Social Policy at LSE.
Sociology was established in the early 19th Century when French intellectuals, such as Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim, decided that the rapid changes occurring in society needed to be studied and understood. This need to understand society is now arguably even more urgent; the pace of change is so rapid that the elderly Orville Wright – the first person to fly a powered aircraft for a few metres (in 1903) - could have met the young Neil Armstrong, the first human being to walk on the Moon (in 1969).
Sociology A-level offers students the chance to study and understand society in ways that are more sophisticated than popular, so-called ‘common sense’ views. Students will acquire the kinds of skills offered by other Arts and Humanities subjects, whilst in Sociology at Owen’s there is a specific emphasis on being able to construct essays in timed conditions, thus preparing students well for examinations.
Regarding the value of Sociology after Sixth Form life at Owen’s, it is a sound A-level for those applying for other Arts/Humanities/Social Science degrees and can, of course, be taken further in preparation for any careers that are in some way ‘social’, such as in Education, the Law and so on.
The AQA A-level specification is followed, with the A/S in Year 12 examining Culture and Individual Identity (Unit 1) and Education with Research Methods (Unit 2). In Year 12, the A2 topics are Global Development;the Mass Media (Unit 3) and Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (Unit 4).
Mr P Dodd
Further information for current parents and students can be found on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). Log-in via the link above, click on Departments, then Sociology. Parents are reminded that they share log-in and password details with their child.