The Nature of the Course
Psychology is the scientific study of mind, behaviour, and experience. It aims to offer academic explanations and insight into the behaviour and mental processes that are part of our everyday experiences. The course includes study of different psychological theories, research findings, case studies and the different methods used to collect data. It offers a balance of exciting theory and contemporary psychology in action leading to an A Level qualification.
As a recognised science subject students will gain further experience of scientific method and research in psychology by carrying out and analysing small investigations into a variety of topics from the A Level course. Each topic also allows focus upon contemporary issues and practical application of psychology in areas such as courtroom testimony, memory improvement techniques, stress therapy, treatment of psychological disorders, and aggression in sport, the psychology of celebrity, and independence and social change. The course is unique in its combination of scientific principles, biology and social sciences. Each year there is the opportunity to attend ‘Derren Brown Live’ and the ‘Mind Matters’ Psychology conference and listen to some exceptional speakers. Another special feature is the publication of our own Sixth Form Psychology magazine ‘PsychoSES’.
Skills Demanded and Developed
The specification recommends a good understanding of Mathematics, Science and English in order to be successfully prepared for Psychology at A Level. With its emphasis on scientific design, data analysis, interpretation of literature, and essay writing, good GCSE grades in Mathematics, English and the Sciences are fundamental. Psychology develops awareness of ethical issues in research work and brings in moral and cultural aspects of human behaviour. Tolerance of the wide diversity of human behaviour will be encouraged. Psychology also provides an excellent opportunity to use and develop key skills in research, literacy, numeracy, communication and ICT.
Careers and Higher Education Implications
Psychology A Level fits well with a large number of other subject choices. It is a very popular degree subject and studying it at A Level gives insight into the subject at first-year undergraduate level. Psychology degrees lead to careers in many fields, including health and caring professions, psychiatry, management, education, criminology, media studies and advertising. Some of our students have used their psychology degrees as an entry to post graduate education including MSc in Psychology, Criminology and also PhD qualification.
Strong A-Level Combinations
Possible Further Study and Degree Courses
|Philosophy and Ethics||Medicine|
|Any of the three sciences||Media Studies|
|Crime and Forensics|
|Politics, Psychology and Sociology (PPS)|