Psychology is a popular and fascinating subject that seeks to explain human thoughts, cognition and behaviour. It explores various explanations for understanding human behaviour more explicitly and attempts to analyse why we act in the way we do through scientific method. For instance, why do some people develop mental illnesses? How do early relationships with our parents form the basis for future relationships? Why are some people willing to inflict pain on others when instructed to do so by an authority figure? If you enjoy analytical thinking and debate with an element of maths and science then this is the subject for you.
What you will study
In the first year you'll develop an understanding of Research Methods concepts and develop a broad knowledge of some of the key ideas that underpin the discipline.
The topics you will study in your 1st year are:
Introductory topics in psychology- Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology
Psychology in context- Research methods, Approaches in psychology Bio psychology
In your second year you will apply your knowledge to study a further five topics including:
Localisation and Plasticity of the Brain
Issues and options in psychology- Issues and debates, Gender, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology.
All units are assessed by examination and there is no coursework element.
You will sit three papers at the end of the second year. These papers will contain at least 30% assessment of mathematical content and 'how science works'
Year 2- To achive the full A Level you will sit 3 exam papers at the end of the second year as follows.
Paper 1- 96 marks 2 hours
Paper 2- 96 marks 2 hours
Paper 3- 96 marks 2 hours
In exceptional circumstances there may be the opportunity to sit the AS in Psychology in 1 year.
5 GCSEs at 9-4 or A*-C, including English and Science, plus Maths at a 5 or C.
Many students who study A Level Psychology go on to university to study at degree level. Psychology is a popular subject and universities usually specify high grades at A Level as entrance requirements. Some universities also require you to have a Science subject at A level to show your scientific approach. You can also study related degrees.
Psychology is useful in several careers such as counselling, teaching, nursing, management, social work, and the police. There are also specialist careers which can be followed in Psychology. For these you will need a degree in Psychology and further training.