Overview of the course:
Entry requirements are usually 6 in English, Mathematics and one Science GCSE, however, this is subject to Head of Department approval and 5 may be considered.
Psychology is the study of human behaviour and the mind, and so there is something to interest everybody. As an A Level Science this is an excellent option for many students who are studying ‘arts’ subjects to also gain a science that links well with their other courses. Ever wondered why some people conform? Or perhaps if the experiences you had before the age of five really do shape the person you are today? Or…
At A Level, Psychology is in greater depth and focuses on applications to real life, such as reducing prejudice, treating mental health and rehabilitating offenders (criminals).
Lessons within Psychology are rigorous and enjoyable, with many opportunities to conduct practical research to develop your understanding of research methods concepts, and to use video blogs etc. to see real peoples experience of mental illness or being a member of a cult.
What Will You Study:
Within year one (AS level), you will study six main areas;
- Social influence – looking at conformity and obedience
- Memory – looking at types of memory and reasons for forgetting
- Attachment – looking at caregiver-infant interactions in humans
- Psychopathology – looking at definitions of abnormality
- Approaches in psychology – learning approach (assuming behaviour is learnt through nurture/the environment /experiences), cognitive approach (assuming the mind works like a computer) and the biological approach (looking at the influence of genes, biological structures and neurochemistry on behaviour). This section also includes biopsychology.
- Research methods – understanding how psychologists carry out research
Within year two (A level), you will study;
- Issues and debates in psychology – a theoretical look at free will, gender bias and ethics
- Gender – looking at sex role stereotypes and the role of chromosomes
- Schizophrenia – looking at its classification and treatment
- Forensic psychology – looking at offender profiling and dealing with offending behaviour
- Research methods – further developing your understanding of how research is completed
AS only – There are two exams at AS each worth 50% of your AS qualification. Each exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 72 marks. The exams consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.
A Level – At A-level there are three exams, each account for one third of your A-level. The three exams last 2 hours and are worth 96 marks each. The exams consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.
Possible Career Paths
Psychology A-level is a great introduction to explaining behaviour and how other people think. Students can continue to study a variety of courses at university such as Psychology, Social Psychology, Sports Psychology, Neuroscience, Mental Health Nursing, Human Resource Management, Counselling or Teaching. Having a full science, A level also demonstrates a high academic standard to employers and so is useful to school leavers after A Level for careers such as Nursery Nurse, Human resources, Care-worker (social or health) or SEN support worker.