Psychology A Level
Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour, attempting to explain a wide range of different processes, behaviours and mental states, ranging from the function of memory to the risks in forming addictions.
Please note that you will be required to understand and apply basic mathematical principles in the exam, such as ratios, fractions, means, basic statistics, drawing graphs and tables. You will also be expected to create and write arguments on a number of theoretical standpoints, and may even run and write up your own research. The scientific aspects of the course examine the brain and the nervous system, so a willingness to learn and apply biological principles is also required.
A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE. You must have achieved a grade 5 in English Language, Maths and Science.
What will I study?
How memory works and recalling the details of crime.
Emotional development in children, including the effects of growing up without love and care.
To what extent we are all affected by the people around us, including conformity and obedience.
How do we study the mind? How can we know about what someone’s thinking?
Are we more than just the brain? How do we learn? How do our minds affect our behaviour?
What are the explanations and treatments of depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and phobias?
A detailed introduction to the structures of the brain, and the way that the body affects our behaviours, including a look at sleep.
A look at the possible reasons why people will continue to perform self-destructive behaviour even when they want to stop.
What are the explanations and treatments for schizophrenia.
A discussion of how our relationships form, maintain and dissolve. We also look into what the impact of social media and dating sites have on our perception of relationships.
Issues and Debates in Psychology
A more philosophical discussion of whether we have free will, whether we are born or made the way we are, and about the biases that we have between cultures.
Students may want to buy their own copy of the textbooks, but a digital copy will be made available.
Method of delivery
There will be 4.5 hours of classroom delivery using a variety of methods. You will engage in research tasks that will enable you to develop evaluation skills, along with discussion in class. The course is set out in a logical fashion and allows you to understand what you have studied and what you are about to study.
You will typically be in College four days per week with in-College delivery supported by online resources, enabling students to develop strong independent learning skills to equip them for their next steps.
How will I be assessed?
Two exams in the first year. Both exams are 1.5 hours in duration.
Three exams in the second year. Each exam is 2 hours in duration.
Good course combinations
If you are taking a ‘science’ route with your A Levels, it goes well with Biology and Maths. If you are taking a ‘humanities’ route for your A Levels, it can go well with Sociology or Philosophy, Ethics & Religion.
Your next steps
Psychology is useful for any career that involves working with people (or animals). Previous students have also gone on to study for a range of degrees including law, medicine, business, sports studies and music.
"I have really enjoyed studying Psychology. I initially chose the subject as it has always interested me and I wanted to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. The subject is thoroughly engaging and covers a multitude of interesting topics. I particularly enjoyed the topic on Schizophrenia as it enabled me to find out about new and niche areas that often go unnoticed in the outside world."