Psychology is the scientific study of the brain and human behaviour. It helps explain how we think, feel and act both individually and as part of a social group.
Psychology is a broad discipline that covers a number of topics such as memory, mental illness, criminal behaviour and social relationships.
The study of psychology is based on scientific research principles including experiments, interviews, case studies and observations. Results from these studies are analysed using statistical techniques and in-depth qualitative procedures to explain or predict behaviour.
Students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of key aspects of the core areas within Psychology. In Year 12 students will study four topics that cover the foundations of psychology:
- Social Approach: students will learn about why we may blindly obey an order from an authority figure and how prejudice arises and may be reduced;
- Cognitive Approach: students will investigate how we remember and why we forget, including influences on the accuracy of eye-witness testimony;
- Biological Approach: students will study the biological factors that affect the development of aggression;
- Learning Approach: students will examine how reinforcement and punishment shape our behaviour, including the development of phobias.
In Year 13, students will apply the knowledge from year one to the areas including Criminal and Clinical Psychology. In Year 13 students will study applications of psychology and learn to use their psychological knowledge to understand issues and debates in society:
- Clinical Psychology: students will learn about diagnosing abnormality, understanding schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa and will learn about different treatments for these psychological disorders;
- Criminological Psychology: Students will understand influences on jury decision making, eye-witness testimony and the possible causes and treatments of crime;
- Issues and Debates: students will draw on their knowledge from all sections of the A Level to discuss possible explanations for behaviour or events in society.
Across both years there is an emphasis on how science works, including statistical analysis and research methods. The course is assessed through three written exams in Year 13. There is no coursework.