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An introduction to Sociology
A Level Sociology FAQs

How can we explain the role of gender difference in life chances? Why does poverty exist – and persist – in contemporary society? What are the problems with defining and measuring social class? Sociology is the study of society – the social world in which we live. As individuals, we are shaped by our family, our friends, the education system and the media. Sociology explores the ways in which society influences us – and the way that we in turn influence wider society.

To study Sociology at Bilborough, you need a minimum grade 4 in Maths and grade 5 in GCSE English Language, as there is an expectation of writing complex extended essays. You must also have a strong interest in current affairs.

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Many Sociology graduates are attracted to careers that centre on the challenges and demands faced by members of society. This leads to jobs in social services, education, criminal justice, welfare services, government, counselling, charities and the voluntary sector. So you could find yourself working as a charity fundraiser, community development worker, counsellor, lecturer, housing officer, teacher, probation officer, social researcher, social worker or welfare rights adviser … to name but a few career options!

Course Structure

In the first year (AS), you will take two units: Unit 1 focuses on ‘Families and Households’ and Unit 2 is split into ‘Education’ and ‘Sociological Methods’. You will be assessed by exams.

In the second year (A2), Unit 3 focuses on ‘Beliefs in Society’ and is assessed by a written paper. Finally, Unit 4, split between ‘Crime and Deviance’ and ‘Sociological Theory and Research Methods’ will be assessed with a two-hour exam.


Take some time to look up Ann Oakley’s The Sociology of Housework which underlines the persisting inequalities in family life. It was the first influential study to consider housework as ‘domestic labour’ – that is, as another form of work. Her respondents depict their domestic obligations as repetitive, unfulfilling and under-appreciated. She found little to support the notion that roles in the family were becoming more ‘symmetrical’, with power more equally shared between couples. Her conclusion is that ‘housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human fulfilment’. This research was in 1974. Do women still find themselves trapped into repetitive housework – or have things changed? We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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