Sociology is only available at Advanced Level and is therefore new to all pupils who choose to study it. This has both advantages and disadvantages in that it gives all pupils a chance to start afresh, on an equal footing and with a new subject that may well spark renewed interest in study. A good standard of written English is essential as the examination is based upon essay style questions. A fair amount of independent, but guided, reading is required to obtain the necessary detail which is needed to set issues and concepts into context.
We sit the WJEC syllabus. The specification is divided into a total of 4 units, 2 AS units and 2 A2 units.
Sociologists are often accused of just looking at issues and then stating the obvious. While we do study topics and issues that are part of everyday life, sociologists must be able to back up their statements with case-studies and examples to illustrate claims or observations. These are gained through research and a study of research methods is therefore a key part of Lower 6th and Middle 6th work. Questionnaires and interviews, participant and non-participant observation…all are looked at with relevant case studies of actual research to help us understand the advantages and disadvantages of using particular methods in certain circumstances.
Sociology is a very useful subject for a wide range of careers. Students of sociology have a range of skills that are in demand, including in the field of Law, Criminology, Health, Education, Media, Police and Probation Service, Social and Welfare Provision and Business and Marketing. A sociologist’s ability to form and defend an argument, regardless of personal opinions, is helpful in all these career areas.
Studying sociology provides you with a range of skills that employers look for, including communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and analytical skills.