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Psychology

 

Psychology is a social science. Over the last two decades it has surged in popularity as an A Level choice across the country.It is an exciting and challenging subject which is most popular amongst students wishing to gain a better insight into human behaviour.
An A level in Psychology is highly regarded by universities for entry to many human science and humanities degree courses. As well as a major subject in its own right - leading to specialisms in education, clinical practice, industry, forensics and sports psychology - it is also a useful adjunct to any career in which dealing with people is a key factor, such as health care, business, tourism, advertising, teaching, social work etc. The syllabus introduces students to important historical theorists, such as Freud, Piaget and Skinner, as well as examining current debates and recent research evidence on issues such as the effects of pre-school care on children's development.

It also covers a range of explanations for human behaviour, while exploring issues and debates that relate to the human condition, such as the nature/nurture debate and determinism. It raises very personal and socially relevant topics including the best ways to raise children, to reduce stress, effective methods of teaching and learning and how we are influenced by others.

Most students choose this subject because they are interested in people and in understanding why they behave and think the way they do.

It is important to develop good analytical essay writing skills while studying Psychology. However, the value of the subject is not merely academic but offers students the chance to develop a range of practical, transferrable skills.

Course Details

The course follows the AQA (A) Syllabus. Students are entered for June modules during both years.

At AS level students cover two units:

Unit 1: Cognitive, Developmental Psychology & Research Methods, in which Memory, Attachment and how to design, conduct and analyse research are introduced.

Unit 2: Physiological Psychology, Individual Differences and Social Psychology, in which students cover Stress, Abnormality and Social Influence respectively.

At A2 level students cover two further units:

Unit 3: Aggression, Eating Behaviour and Relationships.

Unit 4: Depression, Addiction and Research Methods.

Career Options & Higher Education

Specific careers in psychology require specialist training and include Occupational, Educational, Forensic, Clinical or Counselling Psychology.

Psychology has become increasingly popular with employers and universities over the years. The subject allows the development of a number of useful transferable skills that can be used in a variety of workplaces:

  • Research design/execution data analysis
  • The ability to form objective critical commentary
  • Advanced reading comprehension
  • The ability to follow academic conventions required at university
  • The ability to formally communicate complex ideas

Useful Links:

AQA Examining Board (For details relating to course syllabus)

British Psychological Society Homepage

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