Psychology A level introduces you to the main academic components involved in the discipline of Psychology, which is the study of the mind and human behaviour. You will look at approaches within the main topics – biological, cognitive, humanistic, behavioural, and psychodynamic. Students learn the studies, approaches and methods used in Psychology, and develop their analytical and evaluative skills. Teaching consistently reinforces the application of Psychology to real life eg criminal psychology, gender, phobias, memory and mental health.
You will be required to purchase 2 textbooks, for years 1 and 2. You will be guided to access additional study material, which can be purchased independently. Financial support may be available via the bursary.
Students need to be inquisitive, open to learning about competing ideas, able to question their own perceptions of how the brain works. A reasonable standard of written English is necessary as are good basic numeracy skills for dealing with statistics. Organisation, consistency and good study skills are an advantage, as is the ability to carry out independent study.
This is a linear course, and all exams fall at the end of Year 13. This is in the form of 3 written papers, each lasting 2 hours and equally weighted.
Paper 1 covers social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology.
Paper 2 applies psychology in context through biopsychology, approaches and research methods.
Paper 3 covers key impacts of psychology in modern society through schizophrenia, addiction, gender and isues and debates.
Research Methods questions are also embedded into all 3 papers.
Although essays are relatively short, there may be 3 of them on each paper. Students will be supported to practice essay writing skills.
A level Psychology often sparks an interest in our students not only towards the further study of Psychology, but also towards Forensic Psychology, Counselling, Criminal Justice, Youth and Community Work, Human Relations, Business/Media related courses, Biopysychology, Nursing and others. Additionally, it provides a sound basis for entry into other vocationally related fields.
WHAT DO OUR STUDENTS SAY:
“Psychology has allowed an insight into not only yourself and the people around but also into the way our society has grown and changed. It is a brilliant subject for anyone interested in the aspects of human behaviour and development” – current Year 13 student.
“In Psychology you get to learn about what influences human behaviour in areas like social influence you learn about how we behave in groups gaining a deep insight into situational and behavioural factors” – current Year 13 student.
“It gives you great research skills and analytical skills due to it being a subject centred around debate. The teaching is great because questioning is encouraged, and the teachers are supportive and aim to help you understand the content easier through power points, discussion, and activities” – Year 12 student 2020.