Sociology (World) A-level


Barack Obama once said: ‘The world has never been healthier, wealthier or less violent’. Despite this, nearly 1 billion people in the world today live in poverty, over 14 million of whom live within the UK. Do you ever wonder why inequality continues to exist in the world? Have you considered how gender, religion, and ethnic backgrounds open or close opportunities in your life? Sociology makes you look at things in new ways and helps you better understand the world in the 21st Century. The World Sociology pathway explores global inequality, traditional gender roles and cultural practices and how is globalisation changing the level of inequality across Africa and Asia.

What will I study in Sociology (World) A-level?

A Level Sociology:

Year 1:

  • Socialisation & Culture
  • Youth Cultures
  • Media
  • Sociological Research Methods

Year 2:

  • Social inequality
  • World Sociology (International Development)
  • Within this World Sociology (International Development) unit you will explore:
  • How helpful is foreign aid in reducing global inequality?
  • How do traditional gender roles & cultural practices explain inequalities within & between nations?
  • How is globalisation changing the level of inequality across Africa & Asia?
  • How can we increase the status of minority groups within society?
  • What role do governmental & non-governmental organisations play in reducing inequality?
  • How does sociological theory help us explain the inequalities in the world?

Entry Requirements

At least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above all from the basket subjects.

How will I learn?

Sociology lessons will consist of engaging learning activities ranging from class discussion & group work to independent research tasks, thus developing your interpersonal and academic skills. At the end of year one you will have the opportunity to design your own sociological research on a theme of your choice. You will develop important transferable skills such as your ability to work independently and undertake secondary research, which are desirable for both university (should you choose to go) and the workplace.

How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed through 100% exam.

You will sit three exams at the end of the second year.

Component 1: Socialisation & Culture - 2hr 30mins exam (worth 40%)

Component 2: Methods of Sociological Enquiry - 1hr 45mins exam (worth 20%)

Component 3: Power & Stratification - 2hrs 30mins (worth 40%)

Any trips?

Trips are an important way of bringing life to the ideas discussed in the classroom. We hope to run a trip to Bristol to explore topics such as gentrification, the sociology of graffiti, and the effects of colonialism on the city. In recent years we have run trips to the Old Bailey, where students were able to witness court cases including fraud, terrorism & manslaughter. We also offer a range of university visits, both to hear the latest sociological research and also a chance to explore the idea of studying Sociology at university.

We are keen to offer an optional overseas visit to North Africa too.

Are there any costs involved?

You will be required to buy course booklets for each unit, which will cost approx. £15 over the course of the year.

Field trips/visits will cost approx. £40-50 in total.

The optional residential trip is likely to cost £500-600.


How does Sociology differ from Psychology?

Sociology is much more concerned with how the society around us impacts our actions & behaviour. For example, within the World Sociology unit in Yr2 we're interested in how the media portrays low income countries (LICs) - does it create an image of helpless nations, dependent on the West for help?  Are the actions of national & foreign governments sometimes part of the problem rather than part of the solution to addressing poverty & inequality across the globe?  We're interested in how factors such as upbringing, education, age, race & sexuality all influence our life chances & influence the society within which we live. Psychology is much more concerned with what goes on within our heads, within each individual's mind and centred around that.

What can Sociology (International Development/World Sociology) lead on to?

What can Sociology (World Soc/International Devpt pathway) lead to?

There are endless specific careers linked with Sociology (please see below) however, we're eager to ensure you develop a range of 'transferable skills' that you can draw upon throughout the rest of your career, regardless of whether Sociology becomes your career goal or not.

These skills include:

•Designing & conducting research

•Analytical skills

•Cross-cultural understanding/empathy

•Ability to consider different opinions

•Presentation/debating skills

•Evaluative skills

•Reading & critiquing information

Specific careers linked to Sociology (World) include:

•Youth worker/social worker, international aid/development worker, marketing/market research, crime analyst, police officer, probation service, law firms, human rights advocacy, welfare rights advisors, criminal justice system, education (teaching), researcher, refugee support (& many, many more).  A particular growth sector for graduates in Sociology/International Development/Geography-related subjects is the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  This is the process whereby companies are eager to minimise the effects of their business on communities and/or the environment by taking greater responsibility.  If you consider McDonald's 'Ronald McDonald Houses', Costa's 'Costa Foundation' or Cadbury's 'fair trade' Dairy Milk, these are examples of CSR at work.

Can I switch Sociology pathways?

Much of the A-Level programme is the same, regardless of whether you do the Crime or International Devpt (World Soc) pathway. It's only in year 2 when things differ slightly

We need you to be on the correct pathway within the first two/three weeks of the Yr1 course.  After that point, you won't be able to swap.

If you're unsure, take a look at the Sociology video on the college website, this runs through the key aspects of each.  Alternatively, one of the Sociology team will happily talk you through the differences at enrolment.

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

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What can I do after I have taken this course?

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

Add to Application

Recently Visited Courses

All Courses


What the students say

Sociology makes me feel accepted and helps express my thoughts and opinions learning about the norms and values in society. As a class, we often debate and analyse issues and ideas, comparing them to Marxist, Feminism and post-modernist theories.

Kym Williams