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Psychology - A Level

Available for applications

More information about this Course

Useful Information
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychologists use research, theories and studies to predict and explain behaviour. In this course students will learn about the key aspects of scientific data collection and report writing and focus on the key approaches in psychology such as cognitive, learning, biological, psychodynamic and humanistic and the origins of psychology as a science. Students will investigate specific applied areas such as memory, social influence, psychopathology and attachment.

Course Overview

Students will need to understand and evaluate the main principles of various approaches in Psychology, including Cognitive, Biological, Social and Behaviourist explanations and how these can be applied to modern day issues in society. This could include both clinical and forensic applications.

Students will also be expected to discuss the issues and debates raised in these themes and provide empirical evidence to support their arguments, which will draw on the content taken throughout the course.

There will be three exams at A Level. One of the assessments at A Level will be based on investigating behaviour and will assess a student’s ability to apply and evaluate various methods of research to specific scenarios. This will involve a large degree of data analysis using mathematical formulae, as well as planning and discussing how to conduct the research.

This is a new subject for most students, and therefore students must be prepared to learn a large number of new and complex concepts relatively quickly.

This would suit students who are:

  • Self-disciplined 
  • Open to new ideas 
  • Able to express ideas verbally 
  • Able to analyse data 
  • Able to work independently or as a group 
  • Organised in the way they structure their class notes 
  • Able to evaluate using empirical evidence

Students should be good at written and spoken communication, as well as competent with data analysis.

This course is 100% examination based. The exam board is AQA.

Course Highlights

Course Specific Trips & Visits

Psychology A Level students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In the last couple of years, this has included a visit to the Bethlem Royal Hospital and Bethlem Museum of the Mind to assess how psychological treatments of mental health have changed over time. Psychologists can also sign up for a theatre trip in the winter term to see Kinky Boots in preparation for units on social influence and gender (there is an extra cost for this trip).

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

Career Opportunities & Further Study

The field of Psychology is vast as it encapsulates all human behaviour. It is an extremely well respected and valued subject by employers, businesses and higher education establishments. It is considered to be a Science, yet its students are required to have many other skill sets, including essay writing.

This qualification gives students transferable knowledge and skills which prepares them for university degrees. When taken alongside other A Level/BTEC Level 3 courses, students can progress onto degrees in Psychology, Teaching, Counselling, Health, Sport and Criminology.

Occupations that are commonly associated with Psychology include:

  • The Civil Service
  • Law
  • Sport
  • Clinical occupations
  • Education
  • Human Resources
  • Research Analysis
  • Police Force
  • Counselling Services

On this course students will develop a wide range of study skills, with particular emphasis on analytical, descriptive and organisational skills. At AS students will study 5 main approaches, 2 perspectives and research methods and at A2 students will build on this by taking a closer look at Forensic psychology and Health and Clinical psychology as well as Research Methods.

Entry Requirements

Students wishing to include A Levels in their programme need to have (or expect to achieve) at least five GCSE passes, with at least two at Grade 5 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:

Grade 5 in Maths and Grade 5 in English Language plus Grade 5 in both Core and Additional Science or Grade 5 in Biology, if taken

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