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 Module 1 – Introduction to Sociology

We begin our course of study with a look at why Sociology is an important area of study and the way that many topics of everyday life such as the family, education and gender are important areas of study for Sociologists. We examine the idea of society and introduce the idea of social class and social determination and the way that this can limit the life chances of individuals and groups.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 2 – Theoretical Approaches to Social Behaviour

The importance of theory in Sociology is discussed in this module and students are introduced to the work of Functionalism, Social Interactionism and Marxism. The different ideas of the major theorists will be used to examine issues such as culture and identity. The importance of theory in the modern day will be explored.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 3 – Sociology and the Family (Part one)

Families are said by some theorists to be ‘private institutions’ that should not be subject to state intervention and yet modern families are subject to legislative concerns and restraints. The roles within the family are explored from a theoretical standpoint and we explore the way in which the different family types construct both personal and public identity.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 4 – Sociology and the Family (Part two)

In this module we examine issues such as gender role theory which constrains the identity of both males and females within the modern family. We consider whether the family is an outdated institution and should be abolished and the impact of this upon childrearing needs to be considered.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 5 – Sociology and Education (Part 1)

The 1944 Education Act ensured that Education was free at the point of delivery for all socio-economic groups. This module examines the way in which this Act has changed the face of education in modern Britain and we also examine inequality and whether or not this still exists even in the face of legislative reform.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 6 – Sociology and Education (Part 2)

In this module we develop the ideas of the previous module and consider the differential attainment of boys and girls within the current educational system. We consider whether men and women achieve differently in the world of employment and issues such as ‘role strain’ and the ‘glass ceiling’. The role of women in modern society will also be discussed and the impact upon their mental health in relation to full-time work and childrearing will be examined.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 7 – Sociology and Religion

Religion is of interest to Sociologists because of the role and function that Christianity plays in a modern state and is not interested in the religious views of individuals. Marx described religion as an ‘ideological state mechanism’ designed to keep order in society. Religion teaches us socialisation in society and the difference between right and wrong. Yet, Britain is now a multi-cultural society and there is a diverse population and indeed there are many different faiths. We examine both Marxism and Functionalist views on Religion to try to find out the meaning of religion to modern society.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 8 – Sociology and the Mass Media

The last 70 years has seen an explosion of the media in society and now homes may have two or three television sets, lap tops and access to social media. The mass media transmits popular culture into our lives and we examine the way that messages are transmitted and the type of ideologies that they represent. This Unit examines the links between the State and media control.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 9 – Research Methods in Sociology

This module examines the way in which Government Statistics are produced and presents the idea that statistics need to be appropriately evaluated in order to determine their value in explaining social facts. The work of Durkheim will be considered in relation to suicide and what his findings tell us about the society in which we live are evaluated. We consider the different methods used by Sociologists to explain their findings and different research methods and also the appropriateness of the different types of data such as qualitative vs quantitative will be discussed.

Accredited Level 3 Sociology Diploma Module 10 – Sociology and Health

The National Health Service within the UK is considered to be one of the best in the World and is free to all citizens but we examine the inequalities within the Health Service and consider the different factors that can prevent individuals accessing health care such as socio-economic status, stress, mental health and epidemiological factors such as high areas of unemployment.


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