Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour and in Year 1 we investigate the topics of memory, social influence, research methods, developmental psychology and abnormality. You will find the answers to questions such as 'why do we obey some people and not others?' and what is classed as 'abnormal'? In the second year we examine a selection of topics in psychology; gender, schizophrenia and aggression.
Course Content and Assessment
Unit 1- Developmental psychology focuses on the
effects of attachment and institutionalisation on later
development and also considers cultural variations
in child-rearing practices. In cognitive psychology we
investigate how the memory works and how this can
affect the accuracy of eye witness testimony, as well
as how it has informed police interview techniques
and court proceedings. Social influence examines the
controversial subject of why we obey authority figures
and what we are capable of doing in the name of
obedience. We examine the famous studies conducted
by Milgram and Zimbardo and consider how we can
overcome the power of authority in order to create
social change. For all topics we examine various research
methods. (exam 50% of AS (if only year 1 is completed),
33% of A-level).
Unit 2 – In this unit we investigate how different
psychologists take different approaches to studying
human behaviour. For example, the cognitive approach
examines behaviour in terms of thoughts and feelings
and the behaviourist considers how the environment
shapes us as human beings. We also consider in greater
depth, the role of biology in shaping human behaviour.
(exam 50% of AS (if only year 1 is completed), 33% of
Year 2 Units 1, 2 and 3 (units 1 and 2 are re-examined
at a higher level).
There is an increased focus on analytical thinking as
students are encouraged to 'think like a scientist'.
Issues such as gender and cultural bias in research
are considered and students are required to enter
into debates such as nature-nurture and freewilldeterminism
when trying to explain the complexity of
human behaviour. The topic of aggression includes both
biological and psychological explanations of aggressive
behaviour and investigates aggression as an adaptive
response. We also examine gender and how we develop
our gender identity. The use of unusual case studies
adds interest to this topic, and students must also
consider the limitations of using this type of research.
How Psychology Works considers schizophrenia and the
problems of diagnosing and classifying mental illness.
It looks at both biological and psychological theories
on causes of schizophrenia and the therapies available.
We also continue our research methods study. Research
methods are once again examined throughout the year
(exam 33% of A-Level).
Extending Your Experience
Throughout the course the emphasis is on the practical
applications of Psychology, and after the Year 12 exams,
you will design and conduct your own investigation into
an area that interests you.
You will require a GCSE pass in Science at grade C or
above, although in exceptional circumstances we will
consider other candidates.
Where will this Course take me?
Studying Psychology opens lots of doors to future
careers. It is a good basis for many of the caring
professions such as Social Work, Nursing and
Psychology or Counselling. It is also useful if you wish
to pursue a Teaching career or to work in Business
areas such as Personnel Management or Advertising.
Psychology is after all about understanding people
and what makes them tick. It would prepare you well
for any job dealing with people.