What is Psychology?

Psychology is defined as “the scientific study of human behaviour” and it provides an opportunity for students to learn a new subject in the Sixth Form.  The specification followed is AQA.

The Psychology Department aims to help students to develop an appreciation of how psychological principles can be applied to situations in everyday life. It engenders an awareness of the complexity of human behaviour and relationships and allows students to reflect on their own experiences. As psychology is a scientific subject, it enhances skills of analysis, evaluation and critical appraisal as well as literacy and communication skills.

What is the content of the A-level?

The A-level content includes an introduction to the main schools of thought in Psychology and the research methods involved, as well as many topics of applied Psychology.

Unit 1 comprises introductory topics such as memory, attachment, social influence and psychopathology

Unit 2 includes the key approaches and biopsychology as well as research methods

Unit 3 covers the key debates in Psychology as well as three optional topics.  These nclude forensic psychology, addiction, relationships, stress, schizophrenia and gender

All three units are examined by means of a 2-hour examination at the end of the two year course.

How will I be taught?

Some group work is carried out, but students are also given the opportunity to extend their independent learning skills. Some lessons involve practical tasks, videos, discussion and ICTactivities and students are encouraged to take an active part in class activities.

What skills will I need?

  • A grade B or above in English Language
  • The ability to voice your opinion and also to listen to the opinions of others
  • An interest in human behaviour

Are there extra-curricular activities?

The Department offers extra curricular activities such as a visit to a forensic psychology conference and to the Freud Museum in London. Lectures are offered during Science week. Sixth Form students can also assist in the “Brain Awareness Week” activities for Year 5 and 6 pupils and can help to run our Psychology Club which allows students to find out more about psychology. Visiting speakers are also invited to talk on a variety of topics.

Clinic is available every week.

How will Psychology be useful in my career?

If you want to become a professional psychologist you will need to do a psychology degree accredited by the BPS (British Psychological Society). You will then specialise in a particular area such as educational psychology or clinical psychology. This may involve a further two or three years of study. Psychology A-level is useful in many careers such as social work, medicine, law, advertising, teaching and police work.