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Psychology

Entry requirements

4 in GCSE English Language or Literature

4 in GCSE Maths

What will I study

The course is split into 12 modules across three broad areas.

1) Introductory topics in psychology: Social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology.

2) Psychology in context: Research methods, approaches in psychology and biopsychology.

3) Issues and debates in psychology: This is part of the AQA core specification.

In addition we have chosen the following three optional topics

Option 1: Cognition and development. 

Option 2: Schizophrenia.

Option 3: Forensic psychology.

The chosen options listed above are open to change. This decision is made by the teacher/s. 

How will I be assessed?

There will be three exams of two hour duration at the end of the second year. This is a linear two year course. Each exam carries equal weighting.

There is no coursework, but you will be set research projects to help you apply your psychological research methods knowledge. Throughout the course you will be teacher assessed through a variety of essays, exam questions, knowledge tests and practical research projects. Results from these will form the basis of your teacher assessed progress grade. However, your actual final grade depends solely on your performance in the final three exams at the end of the two year course. 

Is this subject for me?

Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour. Students must be interested in learning about why people think and behave in the way they do. Psychology is an intellectually demanding subject that requires a lot of extra reading and thorough and well-planned written answers.

It is where science and mathematics meets humanities and as such is a fascinating subject for the intellectually curious. Psychology requires students to build upon and develop their skills in mathematics, English and science (particularly biology). If you study psychology you will be able to hone your analytical and organisational skills and learn about scientific research methods, including collecting and working with data.

Learning about human behaviour can also help to build your communication skills and improve your teamwork and leadership skills. Be warned, however, there is a huge amount of content to be learned and an independent attitude must be taken.

Where can this lead me?

Psychology is useful for any job that requires lots of interaction or an understanding of human behaviour. Psychologists have excellent communication and active listening skills.

People with skills in psychology are sought after in business, management, teaching, research, social work and careers in medicine and healthcare.

If you are interested in studying the subject at degree and post-graduate level in order to become a psychologist, you can work in a huge range of areas including:

Sports – helping athletes to build mental strategies to improve their performance and handle pressure.

Education – studying child development and helping children experiencing difficulties with their education.

Clinical and counselling – treating people with mental health needs.

Forensic - assessing and treating criminal behaviour.

Neuropsychology – studying how the physical function of the brain affects the way we behave and helping treat people suffering from brain injuries.

What else is there?

There are often opportunities to practise conducting your own psychological experiments in order to practise the process of planning, conducting and analysing psychological research.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake practical activities to support your learning. For example, when learning about attachment, you may have the opportunity to act as an attachment figure to an inanimate object (e.g. an egg) in order to test the psychological theories relating to parent-child interactions. 

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