AS/A Level Psychology
Why study Psychology?
Psychology uses scientific methodology to study the mind and behaviour. The subject is very broad, ranging from hysiological Psychology which studies how biology affects behaviour, to Social psychology which emphasises the effects of the social environment. The breadth of the subject means that it combines well with a wide variety of AS and A Levels. There are clear links to areas of study in Biology, Health and Social Care, Sports Study and Philosophy and Ethics as well as connections to Media Studies, History and Geography.
What will I study?
At AS Level you will take two modules: Psychological Investigations and Core Studies. The subject is divided into five main areas and for each of these you will study three Core Studies. For Psychological Investigations, you will study methods used by psychologists to investigate behaviour. The Core Studies paper examines knowledge of the studies, methods and issues in psychology.
In the A2 year you will take two more modules. These are: a) Applied Psychology, in which we take Health and Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology, and b) Research Methods. Health and clinical psychology investigates issues such as health beliefs, stress and possible causes of mental health problems. Forensic psychology examines reasons for crime, the Psychology of the judicial process and possible treatments for crime. The Research Methods paper looks at design of studies, Psychological perspectives and issues such as the Nature/Nurture debate.
How will I be assessed?
In the AS year you will sit exams in January (Psychological Investigations), a paper of 1 hour. In May, you will sit the Core Studies, 2 hour, exam. On successful completion of the AS modules, you will sit the Approaches and Research methods paper (2 hours) in January and the Applied Psychology paper (1 ½ hours) in June.
There are no specific subject requirements for entry, but GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above are needed.
We encourage all students to purchase a book, costing approximately £18 for the first year of the course. In addition, we expect to arrange a visit on the first term of the course to Monkey World (approximate cost £15).
For the A2 year, the text is being reviewed and we will advise students to purchase the approved text. We expect the cost to be about the same as that for the AS level book. We always try to obtain discounts on texts and pass this advantage on to our students who will be informed of these arrangements during the course.