Psychology aims to develop an increased awareness and understanding of the ‘main schools’ of thought in the subject and how they each interpret human behaviour. We also seek to develop your understanding of the research methods psychologists use and an ability to apply these across a range of contexts. You will also develop your independent learning skills within the subject and learn to draw conclusions based on evidence.
The AQA Psychology Specification offers an interesting and applied content which we anticipate students will enjoy.
At AS Level you will develop in-depth knowledge of the core approaches and topics in Psychology including Approaches, Biology, Social Influence, Memory and Attachment.
The A Level is a separate qualification comprised of three units. You will develop a detailed understanding of various methods and approaches in Psychology and be able to apply your knowledge to a variety of topic areas such as Psychopathology, Schizophrenia, Forensic Psychology as well as studying issues, debates and methods including Statistics in Psychology.
At both levels, you will take part in practical activities which provide invaluable knowledge in order for you to be stretched and challenged academically which will support you in the attainment of higher grades.
This specification is designed to be taken over one or two years with all assessments taken at the end of the course.
The number of examinations will depend on the qualification you take: AS level comprises of two examinations at the end of the one-year course and the A Level, three examinations at the end of the two-year course.
You will be assessed on two units at AS or three units at A Level. Skills known as AO1 (Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures), AO2 (Application of Knowledge and Understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures) and AO3 (Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence) will be measured and you will have the opportunity of gaining up to an A* grade on your final A Level. There is no externally examined coursework at either AS or A2. Practical skills will be developed through class activities and the methods used will be taught through the experimental method, observations, interviews and other research methods. Ethical considerations and safe practice used in the real world of psychology will be fully explored. These skills, known as ‘How Science Works’ will be assessed throughout the units described above.
We are looking for students who are enthusiastic, communicative and diligent. Some knowledge of Science and Biology is always helpful, especially as the discipline follows the scientific method in its research practice. 10% of the skills assessed at A/S and A Level require Maths skills so a good grade in GCSE Maths is desirable.
You will study through a wide variety of methods including reading, debating, ICT, learning theory and carrying out practical work. It is important that you participate in independent learning and wider reading; watching relevant television programmes will also enhance your understanding of the subject.
Psychology has recently been reclassified as a science subject; therefore the course may support applications to a range of scientific fields such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry. Psychology, due to its broad content, has many applications in areas ranging from education, law, counselling, social work, industry, child care, media and public relations, plus many others.
Head of Department
J Sanders BSc
Members of the Department
J Radcliffe BSc
D Berry BSc