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    I was originally looking at doing Philosophy at Kings College London but, due to me not getting the required grades of BBC (thanks to my school for severely letting me down in 2 of my subjects), I now cannot go and will not get into any other universities to do Philosophy.
    I am now looking at doing Sociology but I am really confused. I have never been directly exposed to the subject and so I am a little hazy on its exact nature. I am passionate about Philosophy and so would naturally like to focus on that side of Sociology. My main interests focus on human nature and I am really interested in people like Marx. It therefore seems logical that something like Sociology would satisfy my interests. However, I am not a big fan of the mathematical side and this is what is putting me off Sociology.
    Can anyone reassure me or give me some advice on what to do? Obviously I am gutted about not being able to do Philosophy but will Sociology be a good substitute?
    I hope someone can help.
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    There are two sides to sociology: social research and social theory.

    Social theory is very much like philosophy. It is entirely theoretical, you study the great works of theorists and write essays, and it's very very much like philosophy. You also study in depth the philosophy of science, and the nature, reality and validity of the human experience, perception and social enquiry.

    Social research is applying theory to gain new knowledge, this is the side that has mathematics, but most sociology degrees are aware that the students come from a non mathematical background and guide you every step of the way, many unis let the stats be optional, at warwick you don't even have to touch maths if you don't want to.

    (Original post by aprilterri)
    As far as I'm aware there is no mathematical side to sociology
    God help you, you're in for a massive shock!
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    try literature (theory) too
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    It's pretty simple: sociology is right for you if you like thinking about the social world around you.
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    (Original post by screenager2004)


    God help you, you're in for a massive shock!
    lol Well I've only done it at A level.
    I guess there must be some in analysing statistics etc.. but where else?
    I am actually serious by the way.
    It doesn't put me off but I genuinely didn't know that there was a mathematical side.
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    (Original post by aprilterri)
    lol Well I've only done it at A level.
    I guess there must be some in analysing statistics etc.. but where else?
    I am actually serious by the way.
    It doesn't put me off but I genuinely didn't know that there was a mathematical side.
    There is an entire branch of quantitative sociology!

    You'll use Computer statistics software (SPSS) to analyse data
    You'll generate Primary Statistics. Generating first-hand data, codifying subjective behaviours into numerical formats. Generating operationally valid surveys, scales and tabulations. Depicting information.

    Then there's Secondary statistics: analysing pre-existing data such as the census or BCS.

    Data analysis: you'll need to be familiar with things like Standard Deviation, Variance, kurtosis, multivariate analysis, correlation and correlational co-efficients, regression, logistic regression, inferential testing, ANOVA, chi-squared, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.

    Then there's the more abstract mathematical sociology: Probability and calculus, rational choice theory. Application of mechanics and physics to social phenomena.


    But as I said before: teachers realise you come from a non mathematical background, and will guide you every step of the way Some unis even let you avoid stats altogether. But you will have to tackle it at a basic level as part of core modules because it is such a big part of sociology!
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    (Original post by screenager2004)
    There is an entire branch of quantitative sociology!

    You'll use Computer statistics software (SPSS) to analyse data
    You'll generate Primary Statistics. Generating first-hand data, codifying subjective behaviours into numerical formats. Generating operationally valid surveys, scales and tabulations. Depicting information.

    Then there's Secondary statistics: analysing pre-existing data such as the census or BCS.

    Data analysis: you'll need to be familiar with things like Standard Deviation, Variance, kurtosis, multivariate analysis, correlation and correlational co-efficients, regression, logistic regression, inferential testing, ANOVA, chi-squared, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.

    Then there's the more abstract mathematical sociology: Probability and calculus, rational choice theory. Application of mechanics and physics to social phenomena.


    But as I said before: teachers realise you come from a non mathematical background, and will guide you every step of the way Some unis even let you avoid stats altogether. But you will have to tackle it at a basic level as part of core modules because it is such a big part of sociology!
    Wow that's a lot more then I expected. I guess that its good that I found out now as I have whole year to practice.
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    Thanks everyone. I thought that there was a predominantly philosophical side. I just needed to confirm it.
    I am really interested in sociological philosophy and I just needed to know if this was actually a large proportion of sociology at university level.
    Is it a pretty challenging degree with regards to the social theory side? Not just an easy ride?
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    (Original post by nickg2)
    Thanks everyone. I thought that there was a predominantly philosophical side. I just needed to confirm it.
    I am really interested in sociological philosophy and I just needed to know if this was actually a large proportion of sociology at university level.
    Is it a pretty challenging degree with regards to the social theory side? Not just an easy ride?
    I think a lot of essay-based degrees are as hard as you make them. A lot of students go into sociology thinking it will be just writing common sense essays about various aspects of society, but when they get there, they're grilled with philosophical arguments about the nature social reality.

    Social theory does share many elements with philosophy: You look at epistemology, ontology and paradigm shifts, postmodernism, linguistics and semiotics (semiology), logic, ethics, culture, the works of famous philosophers and social theorists such as Focault, Weber, Comte, Baudrillard, Gramsci, Marx etc.

    But: whilst it is very similar to social theory: remember that Sociology is very applied, and if your passion lies in philosophy, remember that you can't try and turn a sociology degree into a philosophy one.

    So make sure you've done your research! Go to a few university websites that have courses you like the sound of and look at their modules.



    Edit: to whoever repped me for this post, whoever you are, you're awesome and that's the nicest thing someone's said to me in quite a while!
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    If you really want to study Philosophy, why don't you retake some A-levels to get the grades you need?
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    No. Scientology is right for you.
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    I will make sure I research properly. I don't want to end up doing something that isn't right for me.
    I can't retake my modules as they were due to the school screwing it up and something to do with AQA.
    My English coursework was downgraded from a very high A to a mid D when it was marked externally.
    That gave me a B overall as all my other modules were As. AQA refuse to investigate further.
    In Ethics & Philosophy I am only allowed to re-sit in the summer. The same thing happened with a D in one module
    and As in the rest.
    That is why I have to find an alternative. They are really frustrating circumstances.
    Maybe I need Scientology in my life.
    I can still do Philosophy at some places. Does anyone know what Heythrop College of Philosophy & Theology is like?
 
 
 
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