Sociology - Hurstpierpoint College


The A-level course offers students the opportunity to develop the essential knowledge and understanding of central aspects of sociological thought and methods. It is designed to encourage students to demonstrate the application of a range of skills and consider the integration of sociological themes, as well as how and why societies have changed over time.

Sociology helps pupils develop a range of skills as it is an academic study of social behaviour, societal constructs and their origins. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis based on key theories and thinkers to develop a body of knowledge about social order, social disorder and social change.

The first year of the A-level course introduces pupils to the key concepts and theories associated with our society and how and why society works in the way it does. These concepts are supported with research methods and real life sociological studies and delves deeper into theories in an attempt to explain and reason these concepts, whilst gauging student interest and understanding.

We encourage students to keep up-to-date with current affairs and sociological issues affecting the world around them, and widen their reading on the topics we cover. The course is taught in a dynamic and interactive way to encourage debate, critique and sharing and justifying opinions.

The topics covered in the first year include: sociological theories, research methods, crime and deviance, education; and in the second year, students study globalisation, families and households.

Co-curricular opportunities

The Hurst Debating Society may be of interest to students studying A-level Sociology.

Sixth Formers in the theatre for sociology talkFacilities

The department is well-resourced and also hosts external speakers such as an ex-gang member to support the key concepts in the crime and deviance topic as well as addressing other societal-wide sociological issues. Students also attend local external lectures.

Higher Education and career opportunities

Sociology gives students an excellent grounding and solid understanding of the society and culture we live in. It hones in on a number of skills including, but not limited to; analysis, interpretation, critical thinking, debate and discussion, all skills which serve them well into university and beyond.

At university, Sociology can be studied as a stand-alone subject, or can be increasingly combined with a number of other courses in social sciences such as Philosophy, Politics, Criminology, Law, Social Anthropology or Business Management. We always have a high percentage of students who go on to further sociology studies at university.

Careers based primarily on Sociology as a degree choice include: Advice Worker, Community Development Worker, Family Support Worker, Teacher, International Aid/Development Worker, Social Researcher, Social Worker, Youth Worker, Police, Criminal Justice Worker, Lawyer and Civil Servant. There are also a number of other career options where Sociology is seen as promoting and valuing a range of useful skills such as journalism, marketing, and public and private services.