A Level

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As a sociologist, you’ll study the impact of social structures on people’s opportunities and experiences, and begin to understand the reasons why people differ depending on their circumstances.

This course is designed to appeal to students who are curious about the world in which we live, what makes us the people we are and what our role and function is in society. You’ll study different social strata such as family, education, crime and deviance, the role and functions of belief and religion, as well as gender, ethnicity, class and age. A central theme is the research methodology used by sociologists to collect their data.


A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics at grade 4 or above.

On this course you will study:

Year one:

Education – Why do some pupils achieve more qualifications than others? Is it because of their class, gender or ethnicity, or is there an exact correlation between hard work and exam results? We will examine the functions of education; patterns of academic attainment by class, gender and ethnicity, labelling and subcultural pupil groups and policies affecting education. We will also discover how Sociologists research education.

Families and Households – Is the nuclear family still the most common type? Are families patriarchal (male dominated), or are families in contemporary society more equal? We will also learn about key Sociological theory: Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism(s), the New Right, Postmodernists and Foucault.

Year two:

Beliefs in Society – We investigate the role and importance of religion in society. Is religion a force for social change, or does it simply maintain power imbalances? We look at a range of religious groups, cults and sects, as well as Black Liberation and Feminist Theology.

Crime and Deviance – We study patterns of criminal and deviant behaviour. Why are black men stopped and searched by the police more than white or Asian men? Why do men commit more crimes than women? Does capitalism cause crime? We also look at crime prevention policy, victimisation, and a range of theoretical perspectives including Radical Criminology and Left Realist Approaches.

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I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student

My time at South Downs was definitely life changing, I have learnt a lot of new skills, and obviously it’s a completely new experience. The support was great, there was always people there to help and try make it as easy as they can for you. South Downs is really fantastic, it has helped me on the way to get to what I want to achieve within my career goals.

Erin Morgan, BTEC student

The teaching has been really good, I’ve loved all of my teachers, they’ve all been really nice and supportive.

Jodie Hook


A good A Level pass in a range of subjects will help you to progress to higher education or relevant employment. A Sociology degree, and the skills it brings, are invaluable for careers in Social Research, Law, Teaching/Lecturing, Social Work, the Police Force, Journalism, Media, Politics and many others.

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