Sociology Level 3


The sociology course gives students the chance to discover how the world around them works. Sociology is the study of society, including the relationships between politics, business and the public; education and training; media and cultural development. Everything that defines our experience of the society we live in is explored through sociology, and this course could be your first step to understanding it all.



Sociology Course at Level 3

  • Course code: PSY03
  • Delivery method: Online or Paper
  • Course duration: 12 Months
  • Entry requirements: No prior qualification needed
  • Award achieved: Certificate of Achievement by ABC
  • Awarding body: ABC

This course is great as a stand-alone course for those with an interest in sociology, but would also be suitable for home learning students who want to prepare for a higher level of study, such as an A-Level.

Course Content

This course consists of eight separate units, as listed below:

Unit 1: Studying Sociology

  • What is sociology?
  • What is the relationship between sociology and the other social sciences?
  • What are the positivist, interpretivist, modern and post-modernist perspectives?
  • What do we use sociological knowledge for?
  • What is the relationship between the individual and society?
  • What are the biological, psychological and social elements of human behaviour?
  • To what extent is human behaviour determined by social factors?
  • How diverse are human behaviour and cultural variation?
  • What is socialisation and how does the individual become a full adult social interactor?
  • What are the agencies of socialisation and how do they function?
  • What is conformity and non-conformity?
  • How do social class, age, gender and ethnicity help construct social identity?
  • What is the nature of social change?

Unit 2: Sociological Methods

  • What are primary and secondary data?
  • What are quantitative and qualitative data?
  • What are the different forms of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of these different methods?
  • What are the stages of research design?
  • What is the relationship between theory and methods; positivist and anti-positivist approaches?
  • What are the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing the choice of topic, choice of methods and conduct of research?
  • What is the distinction between reliability and validity?
  • What is the potential influence of researcher bias?

Unit 3: Social Stratification

  • What is social class?
  • What are the Marxist, Weberian, functionalist and post-modern approaches to social class?
  • What is the relationship between economic power and political power, social class and life chance?
  • What is the extent of social mobility in contemporary society?
  • What is ascribed and achieved status in contemporary modern and traditional societies?
  • What is poverty and what is the extent of poverty?
  • What is sex and gender difference?
  • What are the functionalist, Marxist and feminist perspectives on gender difference?
  • What is gender socialisation, and what are the agents of this?
  • What gender differences or inequalities exist in contemporary society?
  • What is patriarchy?
  • How has women’s role and status in society changed?
  • What has been the impact of equal opportunities policies on women’s lives?
  • What are race and ethnicity and what role do they play in the formation of identity?
  • What is racism and what forms does it take?
  • What are the patterns of racial inequality in society?
  • What anti-racist policy and legislation has there been?
  • What has been the impact of racial equality legislation in contemporary society?

Unit 4: Political Power and Inequality

  • What are the various forms of power, control and authority?
  • What are aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy and dictatorship?
  • What different theories of power are there?
  • What different interpretations of the role of the state in contemporary society are there?
  • How are political decisions made, both in a democracy or in an authoritarian régime?
  • How do the political processes work in the UK?
  • What is the role of the political party?
  • What is the role of a political pressure group?
  • What are democratic elections?
  • What factors influence voting behaviour in an election?
  • What is freedom of speech and ideas?
  • What is censorship?

Unit 6: Education

  • What is education and what roles do power and social control play in it?
  • What are the links between education, the economy and social inequality?
  • What is the relationship between education and the state?
  • What is the relationship between education and social mobility?
  • What is the relationship between educational achievement and intelligence?
  • What inequalities are there in education, by factors such as gender, race, social class or culture?
  • How is language important in education?
  • What are pupil sub-cultures and what effect do they have?

Unit 7: Crime and Social Deviance

  • What are crime and deviance?
  • What role do the mass media have to play in societal attitudes to crime?
  • What is the relationship between deviance, power and social control?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of official crime statistics?
  • What explanations are there for the distribution of crime by age, social class, ethnicity, gender and region?
  • What is white-collar crime?
  • What are the biological, psychological and sociological theories of crime and deviance?
  • What are the positivist and functionalist theories of crime?
  • What is the interactionist approach to crime?

Unit 8: The Mass Media

  • What are the mass media?
  • What are the trends in the organisation and control of the mass media?
  • What are the Marxist and Pluralist theories on the nature and role of the mass media?
  • What is the relationship between the mass media and the state?
  • What explanations are there for the process of selection and presentation of media content?
  • What is the relationship between the media and ideology?
  • What are the social trends of media consumption?
  • What different theories are there about the effects and use of the media?
  • What impact does the mass media have on behaviour?
Qualification Information

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards’ Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Kendal Publishing Ltd on behalf of UK Distance Learning & Publishing has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by UK Distance Learning & Publishing to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards’ endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government[1]. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers.

Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

[1] Regulators for exams and assessments in England and Wales

Method of Study

Paper Based Version

The course comes to you as a paper-based pack delivered by courier.

You will be given guidance through the Study Guide on the nuts and bolts of studying and submitting assignments.

Postal assignments cannot be accepted without prior permission from the tutor.

Online Version

Our online courses are fully digitised versions of the paper-courses, so you can study on any PC or smart device when connected to the internet.

As with the paper course, your online learning programme is completely flexible, so you can study at a pace that suits you.

All of our online course content is broken down into bite size chunks to make your learning more manageable and effective.

Method of Assessment

The course contains a number of assignments which your tutor will mark and give you valuable feedback on. We call these Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs). You need only send the TMAs to your tutor for comment, not the self-assessment exercises which are also part of the course to help you gauge your progress.

Course Length Information

This course can be taken over a 12 month period but you can complete it as fast or as slowly as you wish.

Tutor Support

You will have access to a tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course and will assist you with any problems you may have. In addition you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process.

Additional information

Paper Based or Online

Paper Based, Online


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Paper based courses are only available for UK deliveries. Online courses are available for UK and International students. Dismiss