If you wish to study Psychology, it is not necessary to have studied the subject before, although an interest in human behaviour and science is advantageous. During the course you will need to be able to communicate effectively and research information from a variety of sources and will be expected to keep up-to-date with current affairs and relate these to relevant areas of Psychology.
The study of Psychology at A Level will teach you to gain an understanding of psychological theories, research, case studies and methods used to collect data. You will explore topics which reflect current contemporary issues as well as earlier case studies, participate in and conduct psychological investigations, collect data, analyse your own or second hand data and evaluate your findings. There will also be the opportunity to develop an awareness of the ethical issues in Psychology - particularly in the field of research, and to relate theories to practice and explore self discovery.
Invariably students in Y12 are new to psychology therefore we offer a clearly structured introduction to the course which includes writing summaries of research, completing worksheets, practise exam questions and developing a comprehensive glossary to enable them to ‘speak’ the scientific language of psychology. Transferable learning skills such as collaborative group work, peer assessment and academic reading are developed through a variety of classroom and homework based activities which promotes critical thinking skills necessary for detailed analysis and evaluation of research data.
The first half of Y13 builds on the foundation of theory and research techniques learned in Year 12 by evaluating their practical applications in areas such as the treatment of mental illness and forensic psychology. The latter half of Y13 is based around comparison of the effectiveness of the different perspectives adopted by psychologists in studying human behaviour, including their implications on philosophical debates such as our free will to make choices. The focus is on developing skills in building arguments with knowledge gained over the whole course.
Although there is no coursework component in A level psychology, and no continuous assessment that contributes towards the final grade, students are given the opportunity to recreate key experiments all students will carry out small scale independent or group research projects.
At the end of the course, our students have gone on to study Psychology, research, nursing, child care, management, education, human resources, the care sector, the police, armed forces and advertising.