Departments: Social Sciences (Psychology)

Psychology is the study of people and how and why we behave the way we do. Through scientific research, psychologists try and find explanations for human behaviour. Students do not need to have studied any psychology before, but they will need to have GCSE grade C in Mathematics and Science, as well as the required school requirements.

AS Psychology covers the main themes and perspectives in psychology and focuses on 15 core research studies from 5 areas:

  • Cognitive - How can words alter our memory? What is a theory of mind? Why is it we can understand our drawings and some other cultures cannot? Can chimps be taught a language?
  • Developmental - Do children think differently to adults? Does TV make us aggressive? Does going into care affect children later on? What is the Oedipus complex?
  • Social - What turns ordinary people into bullies? Would we obey if we were told to kill? Would we help a stranger? Would we stick to our own group even if they were strangers? Physiological - Do we pick up the emotions of people we're with? How do others know when we're dreaming? Does one half of the brain know what the other half is doing? Do murderers have abnormal brains?

  • Students will also study and conduct four psychological investigations, and learn how to carry out scientific experiments in psychology.

    A2 Level
    Study of applied psychology (Health and Clinical Psychology and Psychology of Sport and Exercise) Students will also study a range of perspectives issues, methods and debates and will study aspects of research design and implementation.

    Assessment (OCR)
    Exam (assessment of the 15 core studies) 2 hours
    Exam (assessment of the individual four investigations) 1 hour

    A2 LEVEL:
    Exam (assessment of applied psychology) 1 hour 30 mins
    Exam (assessment of the perspective, methods and debates) 1 hour 30 mins

    What kind of student is this course suitable for?
    Psychology is a good subject to choose if you are interested in people, and if you are willing to examine your own thoughts, feelings and emotions. You will be developing logical skills of analysis and interpretation, and an appreciation of how psychology can contribute in our multi-cultural society. You should be strongly motivated by the desire to both understand and to explore why people behave as they do. In addition, the content is demanding and you will need to be happy with working hard in class and working on your own, as well as being self-motivated to set personal goals and meet deadlines.

    What could I do with a qualification in this subject?
    Ideal for students who would like to read Psychology at University. Psychology complements subjects such as Biology, Sociology, English Language, Business studies, Politics and Sport. It also adds scientific discipline to Art, Design, History, Foreign Languages, Literature and Music subjects, as well as contrasting well with Mathematics, Economics and Computing.

    In terms of careers and professional opportunities - any area where you will work with others, whether it is in the caring professions, medicine, or in business, psychology is used in training and will always be useful! There are also plenty of opportunities to work as a Psychologist in education, health, organisations, clinical work and counselling, sport etc

    For more information please contact: Miss K. Purewal (Subject Leader)