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Psychology A level at Hartismere School

Course description

The course focuses on the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. It covers such areas as cognitive psychology, biological psychology, social psychology and research methods. 

 

The course will enable you to:

·        develop your interest in human behaviour

·        develop as an independent thinker

·        develop a clear philosophy of scientific principles

·        develop your skills in analytical thinking, communication and research

·        understand the importance of psychology in the everyday world and the motivation behind some human behaviours.

·        understand the context of differing behaviours when considering culture, gender and ethics. 

Course content

The A Level comprises 3 units:

Unit 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

Topics

  • Memory, including memory models, explanations for forgetting and eyewitness testimony
  • Attachment, including early social development, caregiver-infant interactions and explanations of attachment
  • Social Influence, including majority influence, types of conformity and obedience
  • Psychopathology, including definitions of abnormality, causes and treatments for phobias, depression and OCD.

 

Assessment: 2hr written paper covering all 4 of the above topics and containing multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing questions. This exam accounts for 33.3% of the total A level marks.

 

 

Unit 2: Psychology in Context

Topics

  • Biopsychology, including divisions of the nervous system, the function of the endocrine system, brain localisation and biological rhythms.
  • Approaches in Psychology, including the emergence of Psychology as a science, learning, cognitive and biological approaches.
  • Research Methods, including how to design, conduct and analyse research

 

Assessment: 2hr written paper covering all 3 of the above topics and containing multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing questions. This exam accounts for 33.3% of the total A level marks.

 

Unit 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

Topics

  • Issues and Debates in Psychology, including reductionism, the nature-nurture debate and ethical implications of research.
  • 3 options from 12, which could include gender, stress and addiction. Options will be chosen by your teacher.

Assessment: 2hr written paper covering all 4 of the above topics and containing multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing questions. This exam accounts for 33.3% of the total A level marks.

 

Entry requirements

Grade B or above in English and Mathematics.  It is not essential to have studied psychology at GCSE.  

Assessment

AS is short for Advanced Subsidiary.  This is a standalone qualification studied for one year.  All Hartismere students will sit AS exams so that they can have as much choice as possible about the subjects they continue with in year 13.  All work in year 12 is preparation for the full A level qualification which is taken at the end of year 13.  

Assessment is through exam only.  

Future opportunities

Students with AS or A Level Psychology have a very broad range of possible career and higher education opportunities.  You will learn and use a wide variety of transferable skills during the course.  These include developing writing skills, numeracy skills, communication skills, analytical and problem solving skills, as well as developing the ability to form and express informed and independent opinions. You will also develop your scientific research skills, and at the end of the course you will be capable of designing and conducting your own research. You will have also developed the key skill of evaluation during your study of psychology.

 

 

All of these skills are in demand from employers, universities and colleges and are also valuable in their own right.

 Psychology can be studied as a single subject in higher education or can be combined with a wide variety of other subjects, depending on the area of psychology you wish to pursue.  Psychology generally forms a good basis for study in combination with a number of other science subjects such as human biology, physical education or chemistry. Nevertheless, there are many combined courses that offer psychology with arts subjects such as human resources and music too.

 

Many students will also use their qualification to go straight into employment rather than higher education.  A wide range of occupations such as accountancy training or healthcare work are open to students with AS or A Level Psychology due to the skills that a psychology student develops during their A level course.

 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hartismere School directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2015
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