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Psychology A Level at St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College

Course description

Psychology involves the scientific study of behaviour. Psychologists attempt to explain why we behave and think the way we do. It is one of the most popular subjects to study at A level because students can relate their knowledge to all areas of life. Psychology has recently been reclassified as a Science subject and this is reflected in the content at AS and A Level.

Course content

AS and first year of A-level

- Social influence
- Memory
- Attachment
- Approaches in Psychology
- Biopsychology
- Psychopathology
- Research methods

Second year of A-level

Compulsory content
- Issues and debates in Psychology

Optional content
- Option 1 – Relationships, Gender, Cognition and Development
- Option 2 – Schizophrenia, Eating behaviour, Stress
- Option 3 – Aggression, Forensic psychology, Addiction

Entry requirements

You must have acquired a minimum of 5 GCSEs or equivalent at A* - C, including Maths and English Language. Psychology is a rigorous, academic subject requiring good skills in English, Maths and Science. Critical thinking and evaluative skills are essential.

Mathematical skills at Level 2 and above (calculations and problem solving skills) are a requirement and represent at least 10% of the overall assessment. Research methods represent at least 25-30% of the overall assessment.

Assessment

Linear assessment – You will sit all the AS exams at the end of your AS course and all the A-level exams at the end of your A Level course.

AS – There are two exams at AS each worth 50% of the AS qualification. Each exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 72 marks. They consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

The AS level is a stand-alone qualification – it does not contribute marks to the A level. It is designed as a one year course – students would be expected to sit the exams at the end of Year 12.

A-level – There are three exams, each worth one-third of the A-level.

The exams last 2 hours each and are worth 96 marks. They consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

The A level is designed as a two year course – students would be expected to sit all of the exams at the end of Year 13

Future opportunities

- Careers in: clinical psychology, sports psychology, educational psychology, counselling, forensic psychology, industrial/occupational psychology, health psychology and neuropsychology
- Conducting research into many areas of Psychology (usually at a university)
- Applying research in areas such as health, business, crime and education
- Psychology graduates also go on to work in disciplines such as: marketing and Public Relations, business development, management and human resources, and public sector work, including teaching, nursing and the police force.

Further information

We all learn best in different ways therefore a variety of teaching strategies are employed to support your different learning styles.

Teaching/learning methods include individual, group and class activities, debates, presentations, discussions, essays, hand-outs, worksheets, quizzes, white board tests, independent research, note making, flow charts and diagrams, video/YouTube clips and use of the Internet.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College directly.

Last updated date: 02 March 2017

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