“Be content with what you have. Rejoice in how things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking the whole world belongs to you.”
- Mrs L Hawes
- Mrs A McGinn
Psychology as an AS/A2 subject was introduced in September 2006 and has proved to be a popular A Level choice. With our first set of examination results in August 2007, 92% of students achieved grade A or B. We hope to continue this success as the department grows. Currently there is one teacher of Psychology delivering the AS and A2 courses.
What is Psychology?
Psychology is the study of PEOPLE – how they think, act, react and interact. It focuses on all aspects of behaviour and thoughts, feelings and motivations behind those behaviours.
Why Study Psychology?
Psychology is a popular degree choice as it is addresses an area which is of obvious interest to many students. In addition, it provides skills and knowledge that employers value, while also giving flexibility in terms of future career choices. It involves performing experiments, analysing results, researching and evaluating previous studies across a wide range of areas. These include Cognitive, Biological, Social and Developmental Psychology, Individual differences and Research methods.
Psychology is the study of PEOPLE – how they think, act, react and interact. It focuses on all aspects of behaviour and thoughts, feelings and motivations behind those behaviours. Psychology is classified as a SCIENCE.
1. Recommended Entry Requirements
Given the nature of this course and the methods of assessment, students MUST possess:
• Grade B in English Language, in order to be able to structure extended questions
• Grade B in Mathematics in order to calculate/interpret statistical and graphical results.
• Grade B in a Science subject as Psychology is classified as a Science
Students studying Sociology, Biology, PE, Health and Social Care and Business Studies may find this a useful, related subject.
2. Why study Psychology?
Psychology is a popular degree choice as it is addresses an area which is of obvious interest to many students. In addition, it provides skills and knowledge that employers value, while also giving flexibility in terms of future career choices. It involves performing and reviewing experiments, analysing results, researching and evaluating previous studies across a wide range of areas. At AS, these include Cognitive, Biological, Psychodynamic Behaviourist and Positive approaches in Psychology, plus Research Methods. At A2 Level it includes Schizophrenia, Addictive Behaviours, Bullying Behaviours and Autistic spectrum disorders. You will also complete an exam on prior investigations you have carried out in class.
3. How will I be assessed and by which examination board?
AS Structure: Two papers taken in May/June of AS
• Each paper is 1 hour 30 min
• Each paper is worth 20% of the A-level qualification.
• Questions are comprised of a series of structured questions, stimulus material and extended answers.
A2 Structure: Two papers taken in May/June of A2
• Unit 3 is 2 hours 30 minutes long and is worth 40% of the qualification
• Unit 4 is 1 hour 30 minutes long and is worth 20% of the qualification
• Questions are comprised of a series of essay and structured questions. For some sections candidates are given a choice on the papers. There is also questions based on investigative activities carried out prior to the assessment.
We will follow the WJEC specification –https://www.wjec.co.uk/media/veplsnrk/wjec-gce-psychology-spec-from-2015-e-14-05-20.pdf
4. Brief summary of some of the key areas:
• Cognitive approach: Computer analogy, schemas and internal mental processes, plus CBT.
• Biological approach: Evolutionary influences, localisation of brain function, neurotransmitters and drug therapies/psychosurgery.
• Behaviourist approach: Explanations including learning through conditioning, experiences of human and non-human animals, phobias and treatments including aversion therapy and systematic desensitisation.
• Psychodynamic approach: Freud and basic assumptions of behaviour including influence of childhood experiences, the ‘unconscious mind’ and dream analysis as a therapy for mental health conditions.
• Positive approach: Acknowledgement of free will, authenticity of goodness and excellence, and a focus on ‘the good life’ including therapies like ‘Mindfulness’, a Research Methods: Consider a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, research design and implementation and the ability to analyse statistical data and graphical representations.
5. What career pathways are available to me if I study this subject?
Psychology offers candidates either a vocational or a general route in terms of future careers. This gives candidates the obvious advantage of flexibility in terms of deciding what they want to do next. Some examples of professions include:
Vocational Route: General Route:
Clinical Psychology Teaching
Educational Psychology HR Officer
Forensic Psychology Management
Occupational Psychology Nursing
Health Psychology Advertising
6. Pupil Voice
“Psychology is definitely my most interesting subject. I really enjoy it because you learn about how human’s work and why and how they react to certain situations.”
“It gives you a strong insight into many relevant topics that affect us all and no other subject can match that. It is also useful for lots of different career paths.”
“I love studying Psychology as it is so interesting to learn new things that benefit me, and I can relate to in everyday life.”
Studying psychology is a great basis for many careers including teaching, health care, law, and of course the many professional disciplines of psychology itself; for example, educational, clinical, occupational, health and sport psychology.
Clinical psychologist , Further education lecturer, Occupational psychologist, Sport and exercise psychologist, Careers adviser , Counsellor , Human resources officer , Psychotherapist , Retail manager
2017- A*-C 75%
2018- A*-C 84.6%