Why study Psychology?
Psychology uses a wide variety of scientific methodology to study the mind and behaviour. The subject will develop your understanding of the real-world applications of research methods such as experiments and observations, as well as your ability to analyse data using mathematical techniques, such as statistical analysis. The topics studied vary greatly; ranging from Physiological Psychology which studies how our biology influences behaviour, to Social Influence which investigates the effects of peers or authority figures on behaviour. 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 Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, as well as connections to Media Studies, History and Geography.
What will I study?
You will study ten topics over the two years:
- Research Methods (how to conduct psychological research and how to critically analyse the research of others)
- Memory (theories on how memory is structured in the brain)
- Psychopathology (mental health issues)
- Attachment (relationships between babies and caregivers)
- Social Influence (how behaviour changes in groups)
- Approaches in Psychology (the history of psychology and different research methods and values)
- Issues and debates in Psychology (different ideas regarding how psychologists should conduct their work)
- Relationships (romantic and online)
- Stress (causes and effects on the body)
- Forensic Psychology (criminal behaviour)
How will I be assessed?
The A-level is comprised of three exams, sat at the end of your second year.
- Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology, assesses your understanding of four topics; Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology. This is a written exam, lasting 2 hours, which counts as 33.3% of your final A-level grade.
- Paper 2: Psychology in Context, assesses your understanding of three topics; Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology and Research Methods. This is a written exam, lasting 2 hours, which counts as 33.3% of your final A-level grade.
- Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology, assesses four topics; Issues and Debates in Psychology, Relationships, Stress and Forensic Psychology. This is a written exam, lasting 2 hours, which counts as 33.3% of your final A-level grade. Each of the exam papers are marked out of a total of 96 marks.
Applicants must hold a grade C in GCSE English, Maths and Science. There are no subject-specific requirements for entry.
We encourage all students to purchase a textbook (likely cost £22) and offer a research-based day trip during each year of the course.