Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychology is really a very new science, with most advances happening over the past 150 years or so. However, its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece, 400 – 500 years BC. Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behaviour and cognitive processes.
With its broad scope, psychology investigates an enormous range of phenomena: learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, personality and social behaviour, intelligence, child development, mental illness, and much more. Psychology can be studied from a number of differing perspectives but each perspective is underpinned by a shared set of assumptions of what people are like, what is important to study and how to study it. Some psychologists conduct detailed biological studies of the brain, others explore how we process information; others analyse the role of evolution, and still others study the influence of culture and society.
Key Stage 5 – Years 12/13
What will I study?
In the first year of the A Level course you will look at key areas of psychology that represent a balanced sample of the research interests and methods. These are: Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology, Research Methods and Approaches. In the second year of the A Level course, students will study Biopsychology, Schizophrenia, Gender and Addiction. They will also consider some of the wider issues and debates relating to Psychology, such as free will versus determinism and reductionism versus holism.
The course aims to stimulate an enthusiasm for the subject and allows students to consider psychology in the context of real-life situations. You will develop a deeper understanding of human behaviour, the ways in which it can be investigated, and how it can be applied. It will also enable you to recognise the value, use and misuse of Psychology in society.
How will I be assessed?
All topics are assessed by examination. You will be assessed on your knowledge and understanding of the subject as well as your ability to critically evaluate key research. You will also be given the opportunity to demonstrate your research methods skills. There are three papers, each one is two hours and worth one third of the overall grade.
- Social Influence
- Research Methods
- Issues & Debates