Psychology

Psychology scientifically explores human thought, feelings and behaviour.

It makes an important contribution to pupils’ full development as individual members of a dynamic and ever changing society. Psychology provides a means of understanding and evaluating man’s interrelationships with each other and how the physical environment may have contributed to this. Working through a number of topics, students develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which behaviour can be interpreted and explained. The subject instils skills in research, analysis, communication and organisation that go well beyond the value of the material covered.

Psychologists attempt to describe and explain a variety of human behaviours such as why we get stressed, why people conform to rules, and why some people give in to peer pressure. They also use their understanding to help people with difficulties in order to bring about a change for the better. Psychologists are concerned with numerous aspects of society and attempt to solve practical problems such as finding the best way to treat mental illness, helping people to control their aggression, and finding ways to improve memory function.

The subject is taught in small mixed ability groups in one of two new fully equipped classrooms. Facilities include projectors and DVD technology. Textbooks and resources are chosen carefully to reflect the relevant specifications and the most up-to-date empirical evidence. 


Why Choose Psychology

  • Psychology is compatible with any combination of A Level subjects. 
  • A qualification in Psychology can pave the way to careers in Medicine, Business, Health and Social Care Professions, Sport, Education, Law, Industry, Marketing and others too numerous to mention. 
  • Psychology is relevant to virtually any career involving working with people.
  • Universities and employers value the skills that Psychology students can offer which include critical analysis, using evidence to formulate discussions, interpersonal awareness, practical research and problem solving.
  • It is defined as ‘the scientific study of human behaviour’ and its status as a science was rightly recognised in 2008 when the QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency) brought Psychology in with the other three sciences.

Exam Board


Further information on the Psychology A Level can be found on the AQA website.


Course Content

The A Level Psychology specification aims to develop a broad understanding of the core areas of Psychology through a range of topics over 3 units. 

 

Paper One:

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Paper Two:

  • Approaches
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods

Paper Three:

Issues and debates

Three topics are then selected from a range of options including;

  • Forensic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Relationships

Assessment

All units are assessed through examinations at the end of the two year course, with each paper being worth 33.3% of the final A Level. Students will be assessed through a range of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer questions.

Trips, Activities and Extension

Each year A Level Psychology students are given the opportunity to attend an one-day conference in London. Here they are able to listen to keynote speakers giving professional insight into the subject and are also given grade-boosting advice from senior examiners. The Department also welcomes outside speakers throughout the year on a number of relevant topics. Psychology trips vary annually and include:- 

London Zoo

Previous trips have included a visit to London Zoo for a workshop on phobias and the treatment of them.

Pentonville Prison

Previous trips have included a visit to Pentonville Prison for a talk on institutional aggression.