Course at a glance


This Level 3 Course in Sociology is designed to provide an introduction to those students who are interested in understanding more about the society in which they live and are considering studying the subject at a higher level in the future. Sociology is the ‘systematic study of humans’ and attempts to explain behaviour in terms of scientific thinking and theoretical explanation. You may wish to study Sociology because you wish have a greater understanding of the world in which you live or you wish to consider a career such as Social Work as an area for further study for the future. Sociology is a diverse topic and covers many aspects of human society and the impact they make on social groups and indeed individuals themselves such as socio-economic status and gender.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and will also provide you with tutor support. Tutors have all been specially selected for their knowledge and understanding of your particular area of study and have experience in Distance Learning support. The Course will combine theoretical knowledge of Sociology and practical applications of the subject in order to build a coherent understanding of the subject area.

Assignments which will be marked online by a course tutor. The assignments will develop theoretical knowledge and understanding gained from studying the relevant study Modules (and indeed further reading). Students are encouraged to develop self reflection and understanding during their Course of study which will assist them when considering a career or further study in Sociology. An important aspect of Sociology is the study of Research Skills and Analysis of Data and this is embedded within many of the modules.

The Course duration is one year and students study at home at their own pace using our virtual learning environment. The course offers flexible delivery so that the more time you can allocate to your studies the sooner you can complete the Course. Upon enrolment you will be provided with all the necessary materials to complete the Course and you are free to study as often as you wish. Progression from Level 3 can assist in career development, continued professional development, personal development and provision of basis for further study. On successful completion of this Course you become eligible for Level 5 study at Oxford Distance Learning and can discuss this with student services at any point during the progression of your Course.

There are ten modules of study within the course and two assignments totalling approximately 3000 words. Students are required to pass both assignments and this will determine the award of the Level 3 Diploma in Sociology.

Assignments must be written by the student themselves and work that has been copied and pasted into the assignment will not be accepted as all work has to be screened for Plagiarism. The completed assignments will be marked online by a course tutor and feedback on performance will be provided. Tutor support will be provided throughout the Course of study and you are encouraged to make contact with your Tutor at the earliest possible opportunity as this will assist you develop your understanding and knowledge of the topic.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and you are also encouraged to read around the topics you are studying in further detail as this will help you decide whether or not your chosen course of study is the right topic for you to develop in the future.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Course Content

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 1: Introduction to Sociology and Education

Introduction to Sociology: A Foundational Exploration

The study of sociology offers a profound lens through which to examine the intricate tapestry of human society. At its core, the introductory unit in sociology illuminates the pivotal role of education in shaping individuals and communities. From the process of socialisation that imbues us with cultural norms and values, to the complex relationships that define the educational experience, this discipline unveils the underlying theoretical frameworks that govern the purpose and function of education in the modern world. Through this multifaceted exploration, students gain a deeper appreciation for the transformative power of knowledge and its capacity to cultivate engaged, informed citizens.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 2: Sociology and Education

Exploring Differential Achievement and Education Policies

Within the realm of education, the study of differential achievement delves into the nuanced factors influencing academic success among diverse student populations. This unit not only scrutinises the impact of educational policies on narrowing achievement gaps but also equips students with the tools to critically analyse and contribute to the evolving landscape of educational research. By engaging with methodologies for researching education, students are empowered to interrogate prevailing paradigms, propose innovative solutions, and advocate for equitable educational practices. This unit serves as a crucible for cultivating informed perspectives, fostering social change, and advancing educational equity.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 3: Research methods and theory in context

Sociological Research Methods: A Rigorous Exploration

The study of sociological research methods offers a profound and multifaceted exploration of the tools and techniques employed in the pursuit of empirical knowledge. From the careful selection of research topics to the practical considerations that shape the research process, this unit equips students with a comprehensive understanding of the methodological landscape. Students delve into the formulation of hypotheses, the diverse types of data, and the critical evaluation of research findings, all while navigating the complex interplay of bias, ethics, and data-gathering strategies. Through an in-depth examination of social surveys, participant observation, experiments, and official statistics, students develop a nuanced appreciation for the rigorous and dynamic nature of sociological inquiry.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 4: Culture and Identity

Cultural Perspectives and the Socialisation of Identity

This unit offers a captivating exploration of the multifaceted nature of identity, examining it through the lens of diverse cultural perspectives. Students delve into the intricate processes of socialisation, uncovering the agencies of social control that shape our sense of self. From the theoretical underpinnings of identity formation to the ways in which leisure and consumption inform our self-conception, this unit presents a holistic understanding of the dynamic interplay between the individual and the social. Through the critical analysis of labelling and the synthesis of theoretical frameworks, students develop a nuanced appreciation for the complexities that underlie the construction and expression of identity.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 5: Families and Households

Exploring the Evolving Landscape of Family and Households

This comprehensive unit delves into the multifaceted nature of family and household structures, offering a profound exploration of the subject. Students engage with diverse definitions and
perspectives on the family, examining the intricate tapestry of familial relationships. From the examination of various family types, ethnic differences, and regional variations to the concept of “families of choice,” this unit illuminates the rich diversity that characterises modern family configurations. Additionally, the unit explores the demographic shifts, such as the decline in death and infant mortality rates, the aging population, and the impact of emigration and immigration on family dynamics. Students also investigate historical changes in childhood, inequalities in domestic labour, power distribution within couples, and cross-cultural views on family and social policy. This holistic approach empowers students to develop a nuanced understanding of the evolving landscape of family and households.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 6: Health

The Body, Health, and Illness: A Sociological Exploration

This unit delves into the profound sociological perspectives on the human body, health, illness, and disability. Students engage with the social construction of the body, examining how cultural norms, beliefs, and power dynamics shape our understanding of physical and mental well-being. The exploration of various models of health, the role of medicine and healthcare professionals, and historical improvements in medical practices unveils the complex interplay between social forces and the human condition. Discussions on the medicalisation of social problems, inequalities in health outcomes, and contemporary changes in healthcare delivery empower students to critically analyse the societal structures that influence individual and collective experiences of health and illness. Through this multifaceted approach, students develop a nuanced appreciation for the sociological dimensions of the body, health, and disability.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 7: Work, Poverty and Welfare

Poverty, Wealth, and the Sociological Imagination

This unit offers a profound exploration of the complex interplay between poverty, wealth, and income, inviting students to engage with the sociological imagination. Through a rigorous examination of the definitions, measurements, and distribution of resources, students develop a nuanced understanding of the multifaceted nature of economic inequality. The unit delves into various theoretical perspectives on the causes and perpetuation of poverty, juxtaposing them with the theoretical approaches to welfare provision, both public and private, formal and informal. By critically analysing the issues, problems, and societal responses to poverty, students are empowered to cultivate a critical lens through which to examine the structural forces that shape the unequal allocation of economic resources. This holistic approach fosters a deeper appreciation for the sociological complexities that underlie the lived experiences of poverty and wealth.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 8: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

Crime, Social Order, and the Sociological Gaze

This unit offers a captivating exploration of the intricate relationship between crime, social order, and systems of control. Students delve into the social distribution of crime, examining how factors such as class, gender, and ethnicity shape patterns of criminal behaviour. The unit also examines the impact of globalization on the evolving landscape of crime, inviting critical analysis of transnational criminal networks and the challenges they pose to traditional notions of social order. Through an in-depth examination of crime control, prevention, and punishment, as well as the experiences of victims and the criminal justice system, students develop a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between individual actions, societal structures, and the mechanisms of social control. This multifaceted approach empowers students to cultivate a sociological gaze, fostering a deeper appreciation for the role of crime and justice in shaping the fabric of society.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 9: The Media

Navigating the Sociological Landscape of New Media

This unit offers a captivating exploration of the evolving role of new media in contemporary society. Students delve into the complex dynamics of media ownership, control, and the impact of globalisation on the production and consumption of popular culture. Through a critical examination of media representations and their influence on audience perceptions, this unit empowers students to develop a nuanced understanding of the sociological implications of the media landscape. By engaging with theories and methodologies that illuminate the interplay between media, culture, and social structures, students cultivate the analytical tools necessary to navigate the ever-changing terrain of new media and its profound influence on individual and collective experiences.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Unit 10: Stratification and Differentiation

Unravelling the Complexities of Social Stratification

This educational unit delves into the intricate web of social stratification, exploring how factors such as social class, gender, ethnicity, and age intersect to shape patterns of inequality in society. Students engage with the multidimensional nature of inequality, examining its various dimensions and the mechanisms through which it manifests. By defining and measuring social class, students gain insight into the structures of inequality and the dynamics of change that influence social mobility. Through a critical analysis of the evolving landscape of stratification, students develop a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between individual attributes and societal structures in shaping opportunities and outcomes in diverse social contexts.


This Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.