Psychology is the scientific study of the mind; arguably the most complex machine on earth.
It is the source of all thought and behaviour. So how do we study something as complex, mysterious and invisible as the mind? Psychologists adopt a similar approach to scientists in other fields and use human behaviour as a clue to the workings of the mind. Although we can’t observe the mind directly, everything we do, think, feel and say is determined by the functioning of the mind. Psychologists take human behaviour as the raw data for testing their theories about how the mind works.
Why study Psychology? This subject is all around us and touches on every aspect of our lives. Who you are now, how you will be in the future, how you interact with family, friends and strangers. These are the things that psychology can help you gain a better understanding of.
A-level course content
The department follows the AQA specification. In Year 12 students will study the content included on the AS specification which also makes up the first year of the A-level content: Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology, Approaches in Psychology, and Research Methods. In Year 13 students will study Biopsychology, Issues and Debates, Gender, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology.
The A-level is examined using three papers, each of 2 hours duration and equal weighting in terms of marks. Students can sit the AS examination at the end of Year 12 if they wish. The AS level is examined using two papers, each of 90 minutes duration and equal weighting. All papers, regardless of level, include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.
Students will be provided with topic booklets and will also have access to a number of AQA approved textbooks, kept in the Psychology classroom.
A popular A-level useful for further study of a range of social science, arts and healthcare related degrees, the department sets no formal entry requirements and no prior knowledge of the subject is required.