Psychology

This course covers all core areas of psychology, the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. In Research Methods, you will learn how to plan and carry out psychological research. Biopsychology will teach you how biological structures, such as the nervous system and the brain, influence how we think, feel and behave. Developmental Psychology focuses on how what children think and understand about the world becomes more sophisticated with age. Cognitive Psychology covers how we remember things and why we forget. You will learn about phobias, OCD, depression and schizophrenia in Psychopathology and in Social Psychology you will find out why we obey those in authority and how performance is influenced by the presence of an audience. Along with these core units, we also study Child Development and applied areas of psychology such as aggression, relationships and schizophrenia. Although there is no coursework, you will have plenty of opportunities to carry out your own research into areas related to the course.

What skills will I develop?

Studying psychology will provide you with many skills that will be helpful for a range of university courses.

At least 10% of the marks in psychology exams will require the use of mathematical skills so you will continue to develop some of the skills you acquired at GCSE maths. For example, you will learn about the importance of collecting data in scientific research and you will develop the ability to statistically analyse such data.

Your writing skills will develop. You will learn how to write like a scientist and how to produce essays that are made up of well-structured, balanced arguments and you will develop the ability to critically analyse both psychological theories of behaviour and research that has been carried out by psychologists.

Throughout the course you’ll be expected to read widely. You will learn how to become a better reader and you will also be shown how to use your wider knowledge and understanding of the subject in the essays that you produce.

What topics will I study?

Component 1 – Examination: Introductory Topics in Psychology (2 hours – 33%)

  • Section A: Social Influence
  • Section B: Memory
  • Section C: Attachment
  • Section D: Psychopathology

Component 2 – Examination: Psychology in Context (2 hours – 33%)

  • Section A: Approaches in Psychology
  • Section B: Biopsychology
  • Section C: Research Methods (including scientific processes, data handling and analysis and inferential statistical testing)

Component 3 – Examination: Issues and Options in Psychology (2 hours – 33%)

  • Section A: Issues and Debates in Psychology
  • Section B: Cognition and Development
  • Section C: Schizophrenia
  • Section D: Aggression

Where does the course lead?

The course will help you think analytically, a skill which is transferrable to a wide range of degree courses. Following university, psychology graduates are employed in occupations including human resources management, advertising, sport, schools, hospitals, and prisons.

Exam Board

AQA

Head of Department

Maggie Tate

Entry Requirements

Five grades 4-9 (or equivalent)

It is essential that you achieve at least grade 4 passes in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science - one of these must be a grade 6.

Assessment Breakdown

100% Examination