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Psychology AS Level at St Vincent College

Course description

Students study five approaches (Social, Cognitive, Psychodynamic, Biological and Learning) at AS to gain a foundation in psychology. At A2, students are then able to develop their understanding through a selection of applications including Criminological and Child. Students consider conflicting and complementary explanations to clinical issues and major debates. A series of short practical experiments and tests accompany the approaches and allow students to develop an active knowledge of the scientific aspects of psychology.

The course provides a general introduction to Psychology and its wide variety of approaches. There are laboratory-based scientists at one end of the spectrum and the dream-interpreting psychologists at the other. You will soon realise that there are no clear-cut answers to the questions psychologists ask, but a variety of interpretations about why we behave in the way that we do.

There is a strong emphasis on research methods and statistical analysis throughout the course. You will carry out several mini-investigations and will write up a brief report. These will be tested in
examined units and will enable you to put into practice the research skills and statistical techniques you have previously learned.

Course content

Unit 1: Social and Cognitive Psychology
Unit 2: Understanding the individual

During the course we will introduce you to a broad range of topics and issues e.g. human development, memory, obedience, mental illness, therapies, stress, sleep and dream states, conditioning and also research methods and ethical issues. Be prepared to contribute to discussions and to have your ideas challenged! The Key skills of Communication and Information Technology will be addressed in a number of ways including essay writing, statistical analysis of data and the presentation skills needed in completing coursework as part of the examination.

Psychologists have a very valuable contribution to make to all areas of our lives today. If you decide to study Psychology, you will learn more about yourself and understand other people better. You may find your existing ideas about human behaviour get challenged but you will have the opportunity to explore them further in class and group discussions. Be prepared to read as broadly as possible in the subject, including current articles in print, and to watch relevant TV documentaries.

Possible career choices are many and varied. An understanding of Psychology is useful in any job where you are working with people.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at grade A* – C, including English, Maths and Science.


100% examinations

Financial information

Various conferences and trips which, in the past, have included the Freud Museum, Marwell Zoo and the Science Museum

Future opportunities

• Higher Education for degree courses in this or other subjects
• To a range of careers involving people

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Vincent College directly.

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information