Psychology

Why you should study this subject:

Have you ever wondered who you are, why you are the way you are or why you do the things you do?  If so, then Psychology is for you!

Psychology is a fascinating and varied subject that examines people’s experiences, behaviour and motivation.  As such, it is relevant to everyone and can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself as well as the people around you.

What you will gain from studying this subject:

Psychology is included in the science group of A Level subjects. Whilst this does not involve lessons in labs wearing white coats, it does mean an evidence-based approach to learning about animals and people, how they think and behave. Thus, students will learn about research methods – how psychologists set about getting answers to the wide-ranging questions they want to ask. Following discussion in class, they will be helped to plan and carry out small-scale practicals of their own and consider how they might record, analyse and infer from the data they collect. They will need to understand ethical concerns and the limitations of using human participants and so gain an understanding of how science works in the context of psychology.

Research findings are at the heart of the topic-based learning on the specification.  Students will learn what other people have found out and be encouraged to analyse, evaluate and comment on the conclusions that have been drawn.

From data-handling to clear and thoughtful essay writing, the course is broad in skills as well as content and it is hoped students will develop interests, enthusiasms and skills that will endure well beyond the A Level and contribute to lifelong learning.

Our expectations and academic recommendations:

Students taking Psychology need to be prepared to look for evidence to support their opinions – and subsequently change them if necessary. All knowledge in science is provisional and needs to take into account the latest findings – and in a new science this is always on the move.
Psychology goes with, and will contribute to, any other A Level and has become a popular Sixth Form choice. University courses are likely to include statistics and Biology but at A Level these are not required and it is possible to achieve a top grade without any other sciences but simply an appreciation of a scientific approach.

What Higher Education/Careers this subject could lead to?

It is difficult to think of a career where a better understanding of people would not be useful. For students who go on to take degrees in psychology there is a vast range of professional work as psychologists working in health, industry, education, sport, academic and research posts. All of this work will require qualifications beyond first degree level.

However, people with backgrounds in psychology are also found in the police force, banking, accountancy, market research, nursing, art therapy, teaching, counselling and many other occupations. Psychology is an excellent preparation for a very wide range of interesting and rewarding careers.