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Psychology

WHY STUDY Psychology?

In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, the GCSE Psychology specification:

  • provides a sound understanding of methods and approaches in Psychology at an introductory level
  • illustrates these methods and approaches through various topic areas representing the core areas of social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences
  • develops investigation and report writing skills
  • develops analytical and critical thinking skills
  • encourages an appreciation of how science works
  • provides a strong basis for progression to our A-level Psychology specifications.

Psychology is defined as “the scientific study of human behaviour” and it provides an opportunity for students to learn a new subject at GCSE and continue it at Sixth Form. The specification followed at GCSE and A-LEVEL 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 science it enhances student’s skills in subjects such as Biology, Mathematics and English.

What will I study?

gCSE

Paper 1 - Cognition and Behaviour

  1. Memory
  2. Perception
  3. Development
  4. Research methods

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

100 marks

50% of GCSE

Paper 2 - Social Context and Behaviour

  1. Social influence
  2. Language, thought and communication
  3. Brain and neuropsychology
  4. Psychological problems

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

100 marks

50% of GCSE

a-LEVEL

Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. It relates to all aspects of everyday life from our personal relationships to our career goals.

The A Level Psychology course offers you an opportunity to learn about the science behind human behavior. Gain an understanding into how psychological research is conducted and used to develop theories about human behaviour.

Some of the questions you will attempt to answer will be, ‘Why do we obey authority figures and what impact does this have on society?’; ‘How does our memory work?’; ‘Where do phobias come from and how do we treat them?’ and many more besides.

You will also consider a variety of issues, debates and approaches that psychologists consider when attempting to explain complex and abstract human behaviours; for example, how culture plays a part in theory development, and the nature vs. nurture debate.

In addition to all of this you will develop your critical analysis skills, independent thinking, and research skills throughout the course, which are all highly valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers.

A Level Psychology is a 2 year linear course; which means that what we cover in year one will be tested again at year two and you will be expected to show a greater depth of knowledge than in the AS exams.

Course title

AS and A Level Psychology

Awarding Body

AQA

AS Level:

Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment

Psychology in Context

  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Research methods

These will be assessed in two exam papers.

QAN Number

601/4837/8; 601/4838/X

Specification            

7181, 7182

A-level:

Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment

Psychology in Context

  • Psychopathology
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods

Issues and Options in Psychology

  • Issues and debates in Psychology
  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression

 These will be assessed in three exam papers

How will I be assessed?

At the end of year 1 there will be two written exam papers;

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

1 hour 30 minutes / 72 marks in total / 50% of AS

Questions

Section A, Section B, Section C: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

 

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

1 hour 30 minutes / 72 marks in total / 50% of AS

Questions

Section A, Section B, Section C: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

 

At the end of year 2 there will be three written exam papers;

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

2 hours / 96 marks in total /33.3% of        A-level

Questions

Section A, Section B, Section C,        Section D: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

2 hours / 96 marks in total / 33.3% of       A-level

Questions

Section A, Section B: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing,         24 marks

Section C: multiple choice, short      answer and extended writing, 48 marks

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

2 hours / 96 marks in total / 33.3% of A-level

Questions

Section A: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

Section B: one topic from option 1, 9–11 above, multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

Section C: one topic from option 2, 12–14 above, multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

Section D: one topic from option 3, 15–17 above, multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks

There will also be regular informal assessments throughout the course to assess your individual progress.

Extracurricular activity

Various trips to university lectures and related days out are available to support the content within the A Level Psychology course.

Entry Requirements

Grade C or above in GCSE Triple Science Award or grade C or above in two science GCSE’s.

Grade C or above in Maths GCSE as we will be analysing and interpreting data and making simple statistical calculations. Overall, at least 10% of the marks in assessments for Psychology will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in the context of Psychology A level and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE Mathematics.

Grade C or above in English as a high level of literacy is also required, due to the required essay writing and written exams.

Careers Opportunities and Higher education

How will Psychology be useful in my career?

Studying psychology provides you with a vast number of options. Just some of the potential career options open to you include: educational psychologist, clinical psychologist, social work, advertising, counselling, the police force and many more.

The opportunities for using your psychology studies are endless as psychology provides you with a varied subject base with skills used in the workplace. They can be applied to any job that involves working with people.

Many career choices are applicable to psychology e.g. the police force, the healthcare sector, teaching, counselling and therapy, human resources, social work and working with the elderly, disabled and children.

Many universities recognise Psychology as a science so it will be useful if you are interested in a degree which requires you to attain Science based A levels.

If you have any more queries please contact Miss Zaheer.

TESTIMONIES FROM STUDENTS STUDYING psychology AT THE ACADEMY

"I like psychology because you’ll understand yourself and others better."

Godiragetse, Year 10

"Psychology is a fun and unique subject where you get to learn about how people develop. You get to learn about things you may not have been taught before."

Hifzah, Year 10

"I chose psychology to get an insight on why people behave the way they do and I honestly have learnt it."

Tabarak, Year 10

‘It is really interesting because you are able to apply things you do in class to real life situations such as learning about OCD and depression.’

Masooma, Year 12

 ‘If you have ever wondered why you have become a moody teenager or why we retain certain memories whilst forgetting others, psychology is for you! I even know why I am so attached to my mother because of it.’

Bilal, Year 12

 ‘It’s interesting to learn about psychology as it allows you to make deeper interpretations about your surroundings.’

Ayse, Year 12