notinvolved19
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Hi everyone

I will be choosing my A-levels next month and am considering taking Sociology.

Can any current/ex Sociology A-level students please tell me about/ what you think about Sociology A level? Pros and cons, difficulty level, do you enjoy it etc.

Oh and if you have also taken psychology as well as sociology please share your thoughts with me! I'm considering Psychology too... its just that it can only be one of those subjects since I don't have enough options to pick both.

Thank you
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thelittleowlet
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(Original post by notinvolved19)
Hi everyone

I will be choosing my A-levels next month and am considering taking Sociology.

Can any current/ex Sociology A-level students please tell me about/ what you think about Sociology A level? Pros and cons, difficulty level etc, do you enjoy it etc.

Oh and if you have also taken psychology as well as sociology please share your thoughts with me! I'm considering Psychology too... its just that it can only be one of those subjects since I don't have enough options to pick both.

Thank you
I took sociology and psychology last year and achieved A* and A respectively. I would say sociology is v interesting, it's a good choice if you like writing and class discussions. In the grand scheme of things, its a relatively 'easy' A-Level, but I do think getting the right depth of analysis in essays and remembering the TON of researchers can be challenging.

Psychology is incredibly interesting - it has the holds the same issue of there being a lot of research to remember, but in my opinion, you go in-depth more into specific studies in psych, which can make it easier in the long term. There is a bit of maths in the spec and a lot of research methods. You still have to learn research methods in sociology, but from the exam board I did (AQA for both), there was more content of that nature in psychology.

Similarly, both my specification contained optional topics which your teachers choose for you. I got lucky with one's I was interested in, but it may be worthwhile asking each teacher which options (if your exam board has them) you would be studying, and if they're of interest to you.

On the whole, sociology leans more towards humanities, essay-based, and is purely a social science, whereas psychology is more of a typical science which also happens to contain humanities features, such as essay-writing.

Hope this helps! I really enjoyed taking both, so I'm sure you'll have a blast regardless. Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have
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giella
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Neither subject generally features very often in university entry requirements so the decision to take either should be taken on interest and insight into what they involve.

Both are a lot of work and may push you out of the running for university subjects that do have specific subjects in their entry criteria so just be aware. Out of the two, psychology is more likely to feature in required subject lists. My general view is that people keep their options open the widest with an essay subject, a science and something else that reflects their interest. Psychology and sociology on their own may meet these requirements but they generally don’t together. They get in each other’s way.

I’m not here to say that they’re Micky mouse subjects. They’re not. Psychology is actually a tougher subject than a lot of the people doing it are really equipped to tackle. They both feature a fair bit of statistics and you actually need a good grasp of GCSE maths to be able to do it. People who have this often say you don’t but they don’t realise what it’s like for the people who haven’t got strong maths skills. There’s a lot of content in each and they do require good essay skills.

They’re also new subjects and you can’t rely on your prior knowledge or understanding as a framework on which to hang your new learning. This can be distracting. However, you can equally spin all of these as positives.

It’s just good to go into these subjects with eyes wide open.
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Grace_18
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Hey, I am a current year 13 student studying A-Level Sociology and I would 100% recommend taking it. I think it would be my favorite subject out of the 4 I do. Personally I find it quite easy and it helps you develop good skills like analysis and essay writing that will be useful for Uni. It is also very enjoyable, relevant to everyday life and works well with my other A Levels. I can’t think of any cons really. I hope this helps.
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by thelittleowlet)
I took sociology and psychology last year and achieved A* and A respectively. I would say sociology is v interesting, it's a good choice if you like writing and class discussions. In the grand scheme of things, its a relatively 'easy' A-Level, but I do think getting the right depth of analysis in essays and remembering the TON of researchers can be challenging.

Psychology is incredibly interesting - it has the holds the same issue of there being a lot of research to remember, but in my opinion, you go in-depth more into specific studies in psych, which can make it easier in the long term. There is a bit of maths in the spec and a lot of research methods. You still have to learn research methods in sociology, but from the exam board I did (AQA for both), there was more content of that nature in psychology.

Similarly, both my specification contained optional topics which your teachers choose for you. I got lucky with one's I was interested in, but it may be worthwhile asking each teacher which options (if your exam board has them) you would be studying, and if they're of interest to you.

On the whole, sociology leans more towards humanities, essay-based, and is purely a social science, whereas psychology is more of a typical science which also happens to contain humanities features, such as essay-writing.

Hope this helps! I really enjoyed taking both, so I'm sure you'll have a blast regardless. Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have
Wow thank you so much for being so detailed with this! This does really help.
Firstly well done on doing so well in both of them!
I feel a bit more torn now haha because I really like the way both of them sound.
I will definitely bear in mind what you have said and also ask the teachers about the optional topics as you suggested. And possibly I might consider actually doing both options upon some further research, but as of now I really like from what you've said the idea of sociology because of the humanities element- as history was one of the other subjects I was going to take.

Thanks again!
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by Grace_18)
Hey, I am a current year 13 student studying A-Level Sociology and I would 100% recommend taking it. I think it would be my favorite subject out of the 4 I do. Personally I find it quite easy and it helps you develop good skills like analysis and essay writing that will be useful for Uni. It is also very enjoyable, relevant to everyday life and works well with my other A Levels. I can’t think of any cons really. I hope this helps.
Hi,
thank you so much for the advice!
This does definitely help... I'm liking the sound of Sociology!
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username5524572
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Omg I was wondering if I should do sociology but I think I’m gonna do psychology instead but idk which one is harder
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by giella)
Neither subject generally features very often in university entry requirements so the decision to take either should be taken on interest and insight into what they involve.

Both are a lot of work and may push you out of the running for university subjects that do have specific subjects in their entry criteria so just be aware. Out of the two, psychology is more likely to feature in required subject lists. My general view is that people keep their options open the widest with an essay subject, a science and something else that reflects their interest. Psychology and sociology on their own may meet these requirements but they generally don’t together. They get in each other’s way.

I’m not here to say that they’re Micky mouse subjects. They’re not. Psychology is actually a tougher subject than a lot of the people doing it are really equipped to tackle. They both feature a fair bit of statistics and you actually need a good grasp of GCSE maths to be able to do it. People who have this often say you don’t but they don’t realise what it’s like for the people who haven’t got strong maths skills. There’s a lot of content in each and they do require good essay skills.

They’re also new subjects and you can’t rely on your prior knowledge or understanding as a framework on which to hang your new learning. This can be distracting. However, you can equally spin all of these as positives.

It’s just good to go into these subjects with eyes wide open.
Hey,
Thank you for going into great detail with this and giving me the honest challenges too.

I'm now scared a bit haha. I'm pretty average at maths I get 6s mostly or 5 and if the paper went really well then possibly a 7 so the idea of a lot of maths being in the spec puts me off a bit- but I am really interested in the subjects and willing to work on it at least! It's something I'd definitely have to consider... thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Similarly I like what you said about the essay skills side of the subjects, I think I'm good with that and heavy content subjects, since History is also a subject that I'm taking. Thinking about it though.. would it be too much ahh.

A lot to think about...
Thanks again!
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by Mercihehehe)
Omg I was wondering if I should do sociology but I think I’m gonna do psychology instead but idk which one is harder
Haha we're in the same boat. Take a look at some of these comments! They're really helpful
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username5524572
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(Original post by notinvolved19)
Haha we're in the same boat. Take a look at some of these comments! They're really helpful
Yesssirrr I love tsr ppl acc help instead of being stingy <3
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rockhead08
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In my experience doing sociology, although the content itself was easy to understand and some of it even being common sense, what makes it slightly difficult is that there is a hell of a lot to remember such as theories, case studies etc. So if you have a good memory, then sociology should be easy for you. Also, if you like writing long essays and reading, then it should again be good for you.

I think you should do it, especially along other subjects such as History, Politics etc
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MadameRazz
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I loved it. i was interested in at least 90% of the course (which is a LOT for me lol). i never found the content particularly challenging, but the amount of content/structuring answers was the hardest part. definitely worth doing imo!
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by rockhead08)
In my experience doing sociology, although the content itself was easy to understand and some of it even being common sense, what makes it slightly difficult is that there is a hell of a lot to remember such as theories, case studies etc. So if you have a good memory, then sociology should be easy for you. Also, if you like writing long essays and reading, then it should again be good for you.

I think you should do it, especially along other subjects such as History, Politics etc
Thanks for the advice!
I'm hearing a lot about the heavy content and essay writing... I also wondered if I'd be suited for that since History is one of my options, or if it'd be too much actually. Hmm
Thanks again
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by MadameRazz)
I loved it. i was interested in at least 90% of the course (which is a LOT for me lol). i never found the content particularly challenging, but the amount of content/structuring answers was the hardest part. definitely worth doing imo!
Haha well done!
Thank you for the advice. This helps!
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giella
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If you follow the formula of keeping your options open of a science, a hard essay subject and a special interest subject, sociology would be your special interest subject.

The reason I mentioned that formula is that a lot of people find that their options get closed if they take a combination such as sociology, psychology and media. The stronger universities generally favour candidates with at least one traditional subject and the allied health professions and nursing generally require at least one science. If you’re not sure about your leaning and you’re a good all rounder, that formula will keep your options open.

If you’re already inclined towards humanities, sciences or languages though, the formula applies less. But with subjects that you’re likely to be new to like sociology and psychology, you’re limiting your options too early.
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McGinger
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(Original post by giella)
Psychology and sociology on their own may meet these requirements but they generally don’t together. They get in each other’s way.
Utter rubbish. They are two solid essay based subjects that compliment each other - and will lead to a hundred different degree courses and careers. They are not an excluded combination for any degree course.
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giella
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(Original post by McGinger)
Utter rubbish. They are two solid essay based subjects that compliment each other - and will lead to a hundred different degree courses and careers. They are not an excluded combination for any degree course.
They’re not an excluded combination but if you are wanting to keep options open they do push you in the direction of the social sciences. They’re too similar to each other to give you a broad outlook. It’s arguably a case of over specialising too early, especially with two subjects that you’re unlikely to have studied before. You don’t need them together for any particular course so it generally broadens your outlook and your options to do one rather than both.
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