Psychology is the study of behaviour & mental processes. It is a science subject which challenges how students think about themselves and the decisions they make about their lives. It covers topics such as memory, responses to authority, responses to people in need, sleep patterns, causes of psychopathy etc.

The Social Science Department

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These distinct and complementary subjects enable you to appreciate the complex nature and diversity of today’s modern society. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the internal and external forces that shapes our lives and determine our life chances. As part of your studies you’ll assess the merits of competing theories and explanations. Your understanding will be enhanced by our links with highly renowned academics and via the additional enrichment activities on offer. Teachers within the department come from a variety of backgrounds and specialisms, bringing an often unique quality to their teaching. Having high standards and expectations means that each individual in their care is guided to achieve to the best of their ability


Course Summary

Psychology is the study of behaviour & mental processes. It is a science subject which challenges how students think about themselves and the decisions they make about their lives. It covers topics such as memory, responses to authority, responses to people in need, sleep patterns, causes of psychopathy etc. It allows us to consider the motives of others, to empathise with others and to understand how a wide variety of treatments and therapies can play a significant part in people’s lives. Understanding how different cultures, social groups and families can lead to particular behaviour also adds an awareness of different values and expectations which affect us and this will help you to understand both the similarities and differences which make the world a very interesting place to be in, within a scientific, research based environment.

Psychology is the science of the mind and is taught as a science subject. It is relevant to a wide variety of job fields, including Health, Police, Social Work, Teaching as well as Advertising, Sales and Marketing and should appeal to a very wide audience. In the classroom, participation and opinion is invited and encouraged and therefore this subject would appeal to those who are particularly interested in people, in current affairs and in facilitating debate about a wide variety of topics. We offer the opportunity for students to join a student-led psychology group or to pursue an additional enrichment in either an Extended Project Qualification where the possibility to conduct a piece of investigative research may be realised, or to join a non-examined Forensic Psychology group with a series of guest speakers and engaging group activities. You will study the course for two years and will sit three exams at the end in order to gain an A Level qualification. This is an examined subject with no coursework.

Specific Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 5 or above in English and Maths; grade 4 in Double Science.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

You will gain knowledge of different approaches used in psychology and the methods used by psychologists to study behaviour. In the first year, you will look at several key studies that have been conducted in psychology to learn what they tell us about human behaviour and you will get an opportunity to conduct your own small-scale research projects and analyse the results to see how they can help us understand motivations and explanations for a variety of actions.

In the second year of study, you will be able to gain knowledge of applied areas of psychology such as criminal psychology, mental health and environmental psychology. Under these broad categories, you will study leading research papers and theories being used by psychologists today and will gain skills in analysis, application and evaluation and a good understanding of the statistics used in psychological research. You will:

  • Gain hands on experience of a range of different research methods encouraging active learning.
  • Appreciate how psychological knowledge and understanding develops over time.
  • Explore applications of psychology and gain an insight into how psychological theory can be applied to real world situations.
  • Develop the ability to communicate effectively using appropriate language and become psychologically literate citizens.

How is the course assessed?

This course is externally assessed by examination at the end of 2 years. There will be three exams: – Introductory Topics; Psychology in context and Issues and Options. There will be a range of assessment methods including multiple choice, short answer questions and longer essay type questions. There are no coursework units with this qualification.

What topics will I be studying?

  • Research methods – We will look at the key methods used by psychologists to study behaviour such as experiments, questionnaires, observations etc.
  • Memory – how does our memory work and why do we forget?
  • Social psychology – Why do we conform to authority figures? Can a minority group change the behaviour of a majority group?
  • Biopsychology – how does our biology affect our behaviour? What role does our brain play?
  • Forensic psychology – we investigate why people become criminals, how we might apprehend them and the role of prison.
  • Many other exciting topics.

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

You will need an A4 folder, notepaper and pens in every lesson. We do, on occasion, organise trips or guest speakers and there may be a small fee for this. We provide workbooks and readers to reinforce learning and costs for these will be included in the course costs for this subject.

Gracie Taylor

I attended the Psychology trip to Krakow, Poland, Vienna and Austria. On this trip we visited historical and cultural sites such as the Freud museum we were learning in class. I really enjoyed this trip as it not only allowed us to apply what we were learning in Psychology to the real world but also taught us new things about different cultures and historical events. – The Costello School

Any Questions?

Our Head of Department, Ruma Rouf will be happy to help.

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