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Psychology

Psychology is a fascinating science concerned with the study of the mind and human behaviour.  It attempts to explain why we behave in certain ways, in particular situations. In order to do this, it considers the role of our biology, such as genetics and biochemistry, the role of our thought processes, our previous experiences, as well as the behaviours we learn from those around us.

It has links with biological and forensic sciences, as well as with the humanities such as sociology, philosophy and literature.  The common factor linking people who study psychology is curiosity and the search for knowledge.

Psychology is a very popular subject choice, and students find it exciting, interesting and challenging. Lessons encourage students to be able to think critically for themselves and engage in debates around the potential reasons for human behaviours.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in any GCSE Science, Grade 5 in GCSE Maths and Grades 5 and 6 in GCSE English Language and Literature(either way around).

Future opportunities

Psychology has a broad range of real world applications in everyday life, ranging from managing stress, health and mental illness, as well as understanding personal development, social interaction and the influences in our environment.

Psychology offers good career prospects. There are a wide range of possible careers in psychology including: therapists and counsellors, mental health professionals, child psychologists, sports psychologists, occupational psychologists, and educational psychologists.  The skills you learn will also readily transfer to many other careers. These skills include oral and written communication, computer literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and the ability to carry out independent research. Therefore the jobs these skills support are many and varied. They range from health and social welfare occupations, such as teaching, nursing, policing etc. to professional and managerial jobs, such as Chartered Accountant and Marketing Manager.  Graduates have also entered administration, information and resource management work, sales, retail and the media.

There are many careers that you can go into following a degree in psychology!

Course Textbooks

Course textbooks that we recommend for students are:

‘AQA Psychology A Level - Book 1’ by Lawton and Willard

‘AQA Psychology A Level - Book 2’ by Lawton and Willard

Course Content & Assessment

Course content

We follow the AQA A Level specification for Psychology, which we believe offers students a solid grounding in the fundamentals of psychology and offers a range of interesting topics for them to learn about. 

Please look at this link for Psychology (7181, 7182) on the AQA website

The A Level course covers a range of approaches to Psychology and explores the research methods used by psychologists. 10% of questions will require mathematical knowledge and the ability to apply it. You will study the following topics:

Paper 1: Memory, Attachment, Social Influence, Psychopathology (Phobias, Depression & OCD)

Paper 2: Biopsychology, Approaches in Psychology, Research Methods

Paper 3: Relationships, Schizophrenia, Aggression, Issues and Debates in Psychology

Assessment

The whole course will be assessed in THREE exams, each lasting 2 hours:

Paper 1: Memory - Social Influence - Attachment - Psychopathology

Paper 2: Approaches in psychology - Biopsychology - Research methods

Paper 3: Issues and debates in psychology - Relationship - Schizophrenia - Aggression

Academically Gifted and Talented & Wider Reading

ACADEMICALLY GIFTED AND TALENTED

In psychology we believe that it is essential for students to proactively read around the subject area, and be independent in their learning. Psychology is a large field with new research constantly being published. By reading around the subject and staying abreast of new research findings, psychology becomes more alive and relevant in terms of everyday life.  Students are issued with a ‘super-curriculum’ booklet at the start of the course, with a wide range of suggestions for independent learning tasks. Journal articles are also made available in the classroom for students to help themselves to. A copy of the Psychology super-curriculum is available here.

ENRICHMENT AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR

The Psychology department offers students ample opportunity to extend their subject learning and to enthuse and inspire the students in the broader significance of this subject.  The Year 12 students have an annual trip to London for the fascinating ‘Psychology in Action: The Power of the Mind’ conference. In Year 13 we likewise aim to to enrich the curriculum with a visit, having previously attending a brilliant Criminology and FBI Forensics conference and an event at the University of Cambridge.  The Department also endeavours to run applied psychology and careers related talks in school, by professional psychologists.

ACADEMICALLY GIFTED AND TALENTED

In psychology we believe that it is essential for students to proactively read around the subject area, and be independent in their learning. Psychology is a large field with new research constantly being published. By reading around the subject and staying abreast of new research findings, psychology becomes more alive and relevant in terms of everyday life.  Students are issued with a ‘super-curriculum’ booklet at the start of the course, with a wide range of suggestions for independent learning tasks. Journal articles are also made available in the classroom for students to help themselves to. A copy of the Psychology super-curriculum is available here

PSYCHOLOGY TEAM

Subject Leader Miss A Esland          
  Mrs L Toovey

 

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