Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

Course Content

Sociology is an interesting and dynamic subject that studies the way our society is organised and how we experience life. We are living through a time of enormous change and Sociology is the one social science to equip you with the knowledge and understanding to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of perspectives on how change affects us all. Sociology is not just about Britain, we also analyse a range of global issues such as the environment, immigration, global crime, state crime and how globalisation is shaping our lives.  Sociologists engage in research to test their theories and explain the way our society is organised. Consequently consideration of research methods and theoretical perspectives underpins both Year 1 and Year 2 units. The course will help you develop essential skills for university and future employment; for example analysing and interpreting data, using evidence to support your arguments, communication skills and critical evaluation.

Methods of Teaching

We use a combination of teacher-led discussions, debates, research and presentation tasks and ICT-based tasks to enhance students’ learning and enjoyment of the course. You will be expected to engage in independent reading and research outside of the formal classroom teaching to support your learning.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

During the course, you will be assessed on the basis of exam-style assessments that combine both short-answer questions and essays.

Paper 1 - Education with Theory and Methods

  • 2 hour written exam worth 80 marks - 33.3% of A level
  • Education: short answer and extended writing, 50 marks
  • Methods in Context: extended writing, 20 marks
  • Theory and Methods: extended writing, 10 marks

Paper 2 - Families and Households; Beliefs in Society

  • 2 hour written exam worth 80 marks - 33.3% of A level
  • Section A - Families and Households - extended writing, 40 marks
  • Section B - Beliefs in Society - extended writing, 40 marks


Paper 3 - Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

  • 2 hour written exam worth 80 marks - 33.3% of A level
  • Crime and Deviance: short-answer and extended writing, 50 marks
  • Theory and Methods: short-answer and extended writing, 30 marks

Where Could It Take Me?

A Level Sociology provides an excellent preparation for university and employment as you will develop an in-depth understanding of the key changes shaping contemporary society and the ability to engage in higher level thinking, analysis and evaluation of competing sources of evidence.  Sociology is highly recommended for students considering careers in teaching, social research, criminal justice / probation service, social work, a range of health and social care professions (e.g. nursing, midwifery) the Police and human resources / personnel.

Financial Implications

You are expected to buy your textbook (approximately £20) and we strongly advise you buy a revision guide for each unit (approximately £5). In addition to this the Learning Resource Centre has an excellent collection of Sociology texts and journals. We do run trips to London museums, theatre productions and student conferences and the college has a Student Support Fund for those students who require assistance with these costs.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Mathematics and English.

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A* A B C D E U Total
Total: 12 32 76 70 45 15 4 254
Percentage 4.7 12.6 29.9 27.6 17.7 5.9 1.6