TSR Wiki > Study Help > Subjects and Revision > A Levels > A-Level Subject Guides II > A-Level Sociology
Background information about studying Sociology
Sociology is the study of human societies, in all sorts of contexts. It is a very broad discipline. It is classed as a social science, but it's status as a science is under scrutiny, often from sociologists themselves.
What can I expect from studying Sociology?
The subject is as difficult as you make it to be really. In Sociology there are a lot of theories that you have to learn and you also have to learn how to apply them and criticise them but apart from just revising the theories, the subject is not that hard. Once the main theories begin to click (feminist, Marxist, functionalist, New Right etc) it is much easier to apply them to the different topics. It's a very interesting subject and a lot of the theories and studies do have a common sense factor behind them, I found that because the facts in the studies were less abstract than Psychology, to me Sociology was easier in that aspect.
Sociology is a mainly essay based subject so be expected to write many, although they do not always have to be very long. You will also be expected to do your own research and keep up to date with current affairs. The AQA specification is very essay heavy. 20 and 24 mark essays are the norm and these have to be done quickly in exams e.g. 20 marks in 20-25 minutes. My exam board no longer does coursework for sociology so we have a January exam instead.
Required Individual Study
You will be required to do extended reading into topics you may have touched slightly in class, and keeping up to date with current affairs and watching/reading the news is always a good idea, the topics you learn about often relate directly to current news affairs.
How is it assessed?
AQA has two exams for both AS and A2 years, these are both sat in the summer as there are no longer January exams. The second exam generally carries the most weight when it comes to points. Both sets of the exams have source based questions, shorter answers and essay answers.
At the moment, there isn't any coursework involved.
You may take part in mini studies and take your own statistics and data, but it is unlikely that you will be assessed on this.
Field trips and excursions
Although you could think of many reasons to go on a field trip with sociology, it is a theory based subject and it is much more practical just to study it in a classroom -which does seem a little ironic. You are unlikely to go on many trips, unless they are to lectures.
Where can I go with a Sociology A-Level
Sociology is a good foundation subject as the knowledge you learn can be applied to all aspects of society. Sociology can led to a job in teaching, social work, the police force etc.
What I like about studying this subject: I like that the information we're learning about in class has direct real-world application, often in current news stories. It's also a really good accent subject to others such as Psychology and English Literature, sharing research methods and the different approaches to topics e.g. Marxism, Feminism, Socialism... The opportunity for debating that I enjoyed in my AS year, only get better at A2. It's been so interesting to gain a greater understanding of the kind of society we live in and how changes or ideas shape behavior and what this all means.
What I dislike about studying this subject: Sometimes, it can be a bit mentally exhausting trying to learn theorists and the years they wrote in. Keeping arguments for and against can also be a challenge but good revision and reading around the subject really help to clarify certain key areas or recurring themes.
What I like about studying this subject: . I like research methods because I feel that knowing this information will help me in the future. There are some aspects of the education module which I find really interesting, like how gender, ethnicity and social class can affect attainment.
What I dislike about studying this subject:There are not a lot of things I like about sociology. I am predicted an A grade in it but it does not make the subject any less boring. I have no intention of studying social sciences at University level so I don't know when I will be able to use the things I learnt. It was not what I expected at all. If writing essay after essay is for you on topics that are repetitive generally disengaging then sociology is for you. It can be a rewarding subject if you have a genuine interest in society but if you want to study it because it is the only option available to you, (German and History or Economics was not a combination allowed by my school) you will probably prefer another subject.
Categories: Sociology | A-Level Subject Guides
Dr. Charlie Morgan uses a team-based learning approach.
- A rigorous understanding of research methods, sociological theories
- Preparation for careers in business, government, social change agents (e.g., community organizers), politicians, and educators
- Preparation for graduate study in law, social welfare, business administration, journalism, and many technical and scientific fields
Faculty Contact:Dr. Howard Welser
The Sociology major is designed for students who seek to develop a rigorous understanding of research methods, sociological theories, and how everyday lives and actions are influenced by broader social structures, contexts and processes.
Careers and Graduate School
Those with degrees in Sociology find meaningful and rewarding employment as consultants to business and government, social change agents (e.g., community organizers), politicians, and educators.
An undergraduate major in Sociology is excellent preparation for those anticipating graduate study in law, social welfare, business administration, journalism, and many technical and scientific fields.
Additionally, the sociology major enhances student preparation for effective participation in the community and society at large.
Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.
Change of Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.
External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.
University-wide Graduation Requirements
To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.
College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences
View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.
Sociology Hours Requirement
Complete a total of 30 semester credit hours of SOC coursework, including all the requirements below.
Sociology Core Courses
Earn a "C" or better in the following three courses:
- SOC 1000 - Introduction to Sociology Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3000 - Development of Sociological Theory Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3500 - Elementary Research Techniques Credit Hours: 3
Sociology Statistics Courses
Complete one of the following courses:
- COMS 3520 - Empirical Research Applications in Communication Credit Hours: 3
- ECON 3810 - Economic Statistics Credit Hours: 3
- MATH 2500 - Introduction to Statistics Credit Hours: 4
- PSY 2110 - Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Credit Hours: 4
- QBA 2010 - Introduction to Business Statistics Credit Hours: 4
Complete three courses at the 3000- or 4000-level.
- SOC 3090 - Sociology of Appalachia Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3150 - Social Identities Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3270 - Sociology of Education Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3290 - Race and Ethnic Relations Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3300 - Sociology of Poverty Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3310 - Class and Inequality Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3350 - Economic Sociology Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3400 - Population and Society Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3560J - Writing in Sociology & Anthropology Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3650 - Sociology of Mental Illness Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 3720 - Sociology of Masculinity Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4000 - Emergent Topics in Sociological Theory Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4130 - Media and Society Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4140 - Contemporary Social Movements Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4160 - Society and the Individual Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4190 - Group Processes Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4210 - Comparative Studies of Family Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4220 - The American Family System Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4240 - Urban Sociology Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4280 - Sociology of Religion Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4300 - Sociology of Organization Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4320 - Political Sociology Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4330 - Sociology of Work Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4500 - Data Analysis Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4620 - Sociology of the Courts Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4640 - Law in Societies Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4650 - Social Change Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4670 - Violence Against Women Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4700 - Sociology of Gender Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4710 - Gender and Justice Credit Hours: 3
- SOC 4810 - Environmental Sociology Credit Hours: 3
- Complete any three sociology or Sociology-Criminology courses at any level. One of these courses may be a Sociology internship (as listed below).
- SOC 4910 - Internship in Sociology & Criminology Credit Hours: 3.0-9.0
Complete the following course:
- SOC 4950 - Sociology Capstone Credit Hours: 3