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Sociology at Rugby High School

The Sociology curriculum is designed to support students in developing an understanding and awareness of social issues and how social policy can affect them.  By looking to the world around us we encourage an interest in current affairs, which engages students’ curiosity and builds their sociological awareness.

As an A Level-only subject (at RHS), Sociology builds on students’ key skills such as application, analysis and evaluation.  By further developing these areas students develop the ability to compare, contrast and draw conclusions about differing sociological perspectives’ explanations of social issues.  We also focus on increasing independence and resilience, with the aim of helping prepare students for life beyond school.

We deliver interesting and engaging lessons that allow students to draw on their own life experiences, and to use these to develop and confirm their own opinions on social topics.  This is supported through a range of trips, conferences and outside speakers to further enrich students’ learning.

The course starts with an overview of the key sociological approaches, which we then apply to a range of areas. 

In the first year of A Level Sociology we cover:

  • Families and Households – changing trends in family units; the construction of childhood; differing gender roles, and the impact of social policies on family life
  • Education with Theory and Methods – the role of education; differences in attainment by class, ethnicity and gender; changing education policies and relationship in schools.

In the second year we move on to:

  • Crime and Deviance – different sociological explanations of crime; differences in offending rates by gender, class and ethnicity; the impact of globalisation on crime, and crime control
  • Global Development – sociological explanations for global inequality; the role of transnational corporations, NGOs etc. in promoting development, and the role of globalisation on cultural, political and economic relationships between societies.


Sociology is accepted as a full academic subject for entry to universities (including Oxbridge) and vocational courses. Past students have gone on to follow a wide variety of careers in, for example, architecture; arts; accountancy; business management; law; nursing; physiotherapy; teaching and theology. Sociology provides a useful background for any work which involves direct contact with people or where decisions have to be made which directly affects people’s lives, e.g. police force, politics, medical sphere, housing management, teaching and journalism.


Previous experience of sociology is not essential but it is important to have an interest in current affairs.  Students must be prepared to follow the news and form opinions on topical social and political issues. Students should be prepared to take part in discussions and contribute to debates.  The subject requires extensive reading and a good command of written English, therefore a grade 6 in English Language and 6 in English Literature is a requirement for this course.