Psychology is the study of the human mind, how it functions, and how and why we behave the way we do. Through scientific research, Psychologists try and find explanations for human behaviour. At Finham Park, Psychology is part of the wider Social Sciences Faculty, and elements of Psychology are embedded into the PSHE curriculum.

Students can also opt for our Psychology topic in Yr7/8 as part of their Enrichment choices. This 13 week module introduces students to the brain, behaviour, memory, dreaming, and how to construct and evaluate experiments.

GCSE Psychology

GCSE Psychology is a popular choice which follows the updated Edexcel syllabus.

The Edexcel syllabus is split into 2 exams covering these 5 topics:

Section A: Compulsory Topics:

Topic 1 – How did you develop?

Topic 2 – How does memory work?

Topic 3 – How would psychological problems affect you?

Topic 4 – how does your brain affect you? (Neuropsychology)

Topic 5 – How do others affect you? (Social Influence)

Section B: Optional Topics:

Topic 6 – Why do people become criminals?

Topic 9 – Why do you need to sleep and dream?

A Level Psychology

Psychology is one of the largest and most popular subjects in our Sixth Form. Students do not need to have studied any Psychology before, but the new Edexcel syllabus increasingly focuses on all round skills of literacy and numeracy (data) – so B grades in both Maths and English are needed.

The A level course looks at a variety of topics, studies, methods and investigations. There are no external exams until Yr13. The syllabus is split into three exams as follows:

Paper 1: Foundations in Psychology (2hr exam; 35% of total)

Topic 1 – Social Psychology

Topic 2 – Cognitive Psychology

Topic 3 – Biological Psychology

Topic 4 – Learning Theories

Paper 2: Applications of Psychology (2hr exam; 35% of total)

Topic 5 – Clinical Psychology

Optional Topic – either Criminological, Child or Health Psychology (chosen by staff)

Paper 3: Psychological Skills (2hr exam; 30% of total)

Topic 9 – Methods, reviews, issues and debates

What kind of student is A Level Psychology 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 to 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 KS5 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

NB – From 2019/2020 the school is investigating switching to the AQA syllabus for Psychology.