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Psychology (A Level)

Psychology is the most rapidly developing subject of the 21st Century. We pursue a better understanding of human behaviour by unravelling the biological, cognitive, social and cultural influences that underpin what we do and say, and why people think and behave the way they do.

From the atrocities of war and inequality to the wondrous process of child development; from 'broken minds', aggression, stress and the effect of child abuse to intelligence, memory and 'normality', the reach of psychology pervades all aspects of humanity. Psychology debates the extent to which we have freewill, how influential nurture is and to what extent every individual is unique.

Future Opportunities

Many of our students will go on to study Psychology or a closely-related undergraduate course at University.

A degree in Psychology is broadly useful for many post-graduate opportunities in employment, education or training and is increasingly desirable owing to the widely applicable skills and knowledge that Psychologists use in their work.

Examples of vocational courses and academic subjects that our students have pursued at degree level include:

  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Counselling
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Language Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Education
  • Business
  • Politics and History
  • Criminology and Forensic Psychology.
What are the entry requirements?

Five or more GCSEs Grade 9-4 or equivalent, including at least Grade 5 in English Language or English Literature and Grade 4 in Mathematics. 

What will I study?

Introductory topics in Psychology

This unit covers four of the major areas of psychology, namely:

  • Social influence (which covers topics such as obedience and conformity)
  • Memory
  • Attachment (which covers the relationship between a child, its mother and other caregivers, such as the impact upon the child of attending nursery)
  • Psychopathology (which covers the application of psychological theory to the explanation and treatment of mental health problems)

Psychology in Context

This unit covers the major approaches in psychology (for example the work of the behaviourists, Freudian psychology, etc). It also covers the importance of biopsychological ideas to explaining human behaviour. The research methods commonly used in psychology is also a focus of this unit, although students should note that the theme of research runs through all areas of the course.

Issues and options in Psychology

This covers issues and debates in psychology, such as the nature v nurture debate and the gender/cultural biases present in psychological research and theory. It also covers three options, one from each of three categories. At present, we are planning to cover:

  • Gender
  • Stress
  • Forensic psychology.
How will I be assessed?

Each unit will be assessed through a written examination, with equal weighting towards the final grade. All exams comprise of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions