Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviours and mental functions. It includes studying the conscious/unconscious mind, and does this by covering a large range of sub-disciplines. These include human development, health, clinical, social and cognitive processes.
There are four main goals of Psychology - to describe, explain, predict and change. To help Psychologists do this there are a number of perspectives that are used to explore a certain set of behaviours, experiences and mental health issues. These include Behaviourism, Social learning theory, Biological, Psychodynamic, Cognitive and Humanistic stances. All of which contain key theories and concepts developed by well-known Psychologists and tested using experimental methods.
Psychologists try to understand the wider picture, by looking at challenges and changes in a person and how this can have an impact on personal issues or societal problems. The A-level will allow students to discuss and examine Psychological concepts, as well as unpick them by analysing/ evaluating in an extended writing form.
Key Stage 5
A-level Psychology aims to provide an introduction to the human psyche (mind) as well as how we interact with biological and societal processes. Psychology also explores the human brain, looking at the different regions, what they are responsible for and possible implications of brain injury on everyday life.
Students will have the opportunity to unpack popular questions whilst studying Psychology, such as:
Why do we conform to authority figures? Can we really rely on our memory in the most critical times? Do our relationships with our parents determine our future relationships? What makes some people more/less ‘normal’? Or even what causes mental illnesses?
Students will learn how understanding the basics of a concept (such as conformity or attachment) , will lead to developing a critical eye of the world around them.
There are a number of exciting units that will be covered over the two years, including introductory areas (Social influence, Attachment, Memory and Psychopathology) to specific sub-disciplines (Forensic Psychology, Relationships, Stress, Schizophrenia and many more). All of which require demonstrations of content of knowledge, application to case studies, evaluation of theory and statistics/research methods skills.
Psychology A Level is acceptable for entry to a wide range of science, social science and humanities courses in further and higher education. Specialisation could lead to fields such as educational / forensic/ clinical/ occupational and counselling psychology. These will require postgraduate study and can lead to becoming a chartered psychologist within the NHS or private sector, offering therapy to rehabilitate patients.
Other related professions Psychology can lead to: social work, mental health nurse, researcher, media/advertising, teacher, working in the police force and the child care profession.