What is Sociology?

Interested in why society works the way it does?

Sociologists are interested in why society works in the way that it does and the extent to which our behaviour – and even opportunities – can be shaped by our social class, age, gender and race. We question the society in which we live in order to understand the relationship between individuals and institutions such as the education system, religion and the mass media.

“Everyone should take Sociology even if it’s not what they want to do in the future it's a great base for many subjects.”

Sophie Sharp; Hills Road Sociology student 2013

Why choose Sociology?

Because you want to understand the world in which you live – how and why it functions as it does and who has power and who does not. During the course, you’ll be asking more questions such as….
  • Has Facebook, Twitter and the blogsphere empowered people
  • Is there an ‘ideal family’?
  • Why is it that factors such as class, ethnicity and gender appear to impact on how well – or otherwise – we do at school?
  • Is Britain becoming a secular society, or is there a rise in extremism and fundamentalism?
  • Why does crime occur and how reliable are official statistics?
  • Who has “power” in society and why?

Sociology tackles contemporary issues


The impact of social networks
  • Is Britain broken?
  • What’s the impact of social network sites?
  • Who do our schools benefit?
  • Who joins gangs?
  • Is religion dead in the UK?
Through research and investigation, you will develop a range of transferable skills, amongst them the ability to construct and deconstruct arguments both orally and in writing, analyse information critically and present information logically. Sociology is a subject within the Political and Social Sciences department at Hills Road. The department regularly invites outside speakers to come into the College to speak to you.

Sociology at Hills Road

Sociology is a growing subject at Hills Road. It has doubled the number of students studying the subject over the last few years and It regularly has a majority of students completing the course with A or A* grade Sociology A level.

“Sociology is amazing! It gives you the opportunity to explore interesting aspects of society and have an awesome time doing it!”

Charlie Hudson; Hills Road Sociology student 2014

Job opportunities following Sociology

Sociology opens up a wide range of career possibilities, especially careers that involve working with people
  • Public relations
  • Market research
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Probation service
  • Local government
  • Industrial relations
  • Housing
  • Special educational needs
  • Policing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Youth work
  • Drug/alcohol rehabilitation
  • Social work
  • Civil service
  • Personnel staff
  • Social research
  • Teaching
  • Victim support work
  • Counselling
  • Education management

Extra activities

We strive to provide a variety of interesting and enriching activities, including the following:
  • Talks by political figures, feminists and academics
  • A visit to the Crown Court to observe criminal trials
  • Visits to religious organisations

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade B in English Language or Literature.

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 13

Sociology - 1

Education with research methods in context

  • What is the role of the Education system?
  • Why are girls outperforming boys at GCSE and A level?
  • How can we account for differences in attainment by race and social class?

Sociology - 2

Family and Households with research methods

  • How has childhood changed?
  • How have 'gay marriages' affected the way we look at 'family'?
  • What is the impact of recent government policy on family life

Sociology - 3

Students will study one of the following two:
Beliefs in Society

  • Is religion still relevant to young people?
  • What factors help to explain secularisation and fundamentalism in the UK today?
  • Who is likely to join a sect or cult?
or Mass media
  • Who owns and controls the media
  • What impact does it have on its consumers
  • How does the media represent different groups such as women and ethnic minorities?

Sociology - 4

Crime and deviance with theory and methods

  • Why is crime committed and what does the crime rate tell us about society?
  • What factors account for the rise of 'girl gangs'?
  • What is the link between globalisation and crime - particularly green crime?
  • How can crime be tackled?
  • The relevance of sociological theories and how is research conducted?