Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. It relates to every aspect of our daily lives, as it helps us to understand the world we live in and predict the behaviour of the people around us. The course will cover the research methods and statistical techniques which psychologists use to investigate behaviour. Topics explored in year one include Obedience, Prejudice, Memory, Learning and Aggression. We study Clinical and Criminological Psychology in the second year of the course. Students will conduct practical investigations linked to these topics, and will consider the real-world applications of the theories that they study.
Most subjects have some relevance to Psychology as studying Psychology helps us understand the thoughts and behaviour of other people. Combinations could include:
- Health & Social Care
- English Literature
- Art (Fine Art)
The field of Psychology is vast as it encapsulates all human behaviour. It is an extremely well-respected and valued subject by employers, businesses and higher education establishments. It is considered to be a science, yet its students are required to have many other skill sets, including essay writing.
Occupations that are commonly associated with Psychology include:
- The Civil Service
- Law & The Police Service
- Medicine, Nursing & Social Work
- Human Resources & Marketing
- Counselling Services
Students will need to understand and evaluate the main principles of various approaches in Psychology. They will study Cognitive, Biological, Social and Behaviourist explanations of behaviour, and learn how these ideas can be applied to modern day issues in society. They will learn to apply their mathematical and scientific skills in their own practical investigations. The course also requires students to produce pieces of extended writing. Students will learn to apply their knowledge in the fields of Clinical, Criminological and Forensic Psychology. They will also develop their knowledge of research methods and statistical analysis of data.
Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences
Psychology students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. These have included:
- virtual talks on “Art Psychotherapy” and “Lobotomies and Social Control”
- A visit to London Zoo to see how behaviourism is used to train animals with regards to feeding and receiving medical treatment
- A trip to Bethlem Hospital to learn about ethical issues in the treatment of mental illness
- An excursion to the Freud Museum in London
- A visit to the London Dungeons
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.
This course is 100% examination based. There are three exams for the A Level course.
The exam board for Psychology A Level is Pearson Edexcel.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.
In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:
- Grade 5 in English Language and at least one Science subject (5,5 Combined Science), and
- Grade 4 in Maths
This is a new subject for most students, and therefore students must be prepared to learn a large number of new and complex concepts relatively quickly.
This course suits students who are:
- Open to new ideas
- Able to express ideas verbally
- Able to analyse data
- Able to work independently or as a group
- Organised in the way they structure their class notes
- Able to evaluate using empirical evidence
Students should be good at written and spoken communication, as well as competent with data analysis.
How is Psychology A Level taught?
You will usually be given some material to work through in advance of the lesson. During the lesson we consolidate the work you did at home, and then build on it. We produce work packs for each topic; most students report that they find these very helpful.
How much homework will I get?
You will need to do four to five hours of independent work each week at home. This is necessary to prepare for your lessons.
How many students are typically in a class?
There are usually 18 – 20 students in each class.
Do I have to purchase a textbook?
No, the College will supply you with a textbook. You just need to pay your book deposit, which you will get back when you finish College.