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Psychology AS and A Level at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form

Course description

What is Psychology? 

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It attempts to explain human behaviour by exploring different approaches. It tries to answer questions such as: How does human memory work and can it be improved? How is prejudice created in society and who influences our behaviour? Do our early experiences in childhood affect our later development? What explanations are there for people suffering from mental illness?

What do I need? 

As Psychology is a science based subject you are required to have a proficient level of ability in this area

What will we study in Psychology?

Psychology will follow the AQA specification.  It can be studied at GCSE level or as a stand-alone AS level.  If you are successful at AS level, you will have the opportunity to continue to study for a full A-level. 

Some of the topics you will study are:

How does human memory work and can it be improved?

Do our early experiences in childhood affect out later development?

Why do we sleep?

What explanations are there for people suffering from mental illnesses?

What explanations are there for the attraction to celebrities?

What factors influence our choice of life partner? And what factors contribute to the breakdown of relationships?

Which subjects go with Psychology? 

Psychology will complement a variety of A Level subjects from Biology, PE, English, Sociology or Philosophy. It is an interactive subject that incorporates both written and practical work.

Links to departmental blogs/websites/social media accounts/moodle/etc.

Course content

Unit One Introductory topics in Psychology (50% of AS)

This unit is made up of 3 topics:

Social Influence

Memory

Attachment

 

Unit Two Psychology in context (50% of AS)

This unit is made up of 6 topics: 

Approaches in Psychology

Psychopathology

Biopsychology

Research methods

Scientific processes

Data Handling and Analysis

 

Unit Three Introductory topics in Psychology (33.3% of A Level)

This unit is made up of 4 topics:

Social Influence

Memory

Attachment

Psychopathology

 

Unit Four Psychology in context (33.3% of A Level)

This unit is made up of 7 topics:

Approaches in Psychology

Psychopathology

Biopsychology

Research Methods

Scientific Processes

Data Handling and Analysis

Inferential Testing 

 

Unit Five Issues and Options in Psychology (33.3% of A Level)

This unit is made up of 4 topics:

Issues and Debates in Psychology

Relationships

Eating Behaviour

Forensic Psychology

Entry requirements

GCSE (preferably a grade C or above). You will also need a minimum of a grade C in English and a grade B in Maths to comfortably cope with the demands of the A Level course. However, you are not required to have any prior knowledge of Psychology, just bring an inquisitive mind. 

Assessment

Unit 1 Introductory topics in Psychology (50% of AS)

This examination paper is 1 hour 30 minutes duration and will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

Unit 2 Psychology in context (50% of AS

The examination paper is 1 hour 30 minutes duration and will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

Unit 3 Introductory topics in Psychology (33.3% of A Level)

The examination paper is 2 hours duration and will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. 

Unit 4 Psychology in context (33.3% of A Level)

This examination paper is 2 hours duration and will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

Unit 5 Issues and Options in Psychology (33.3% of A Level)

This examination paper is 2 hours duration and will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

Future opportunities

A qualification in Psychology enables you to learn about yourself as well as others and is welcomed in a wide range of different occupations. You may wish to study Psychology further and may eventually specialise in areas such as Clinical, Health, Education, Sport or Forensics.

This could lead to Chartered Psychologist status where you work with individual groups or organisations such as the Police, Child Protection Services or Clinical Psychiatrists.

Further information

London Trip to visit Freud’s Museum

Crown & Magistrates Court Visits (Manchester and Burnley)

Behind Bars Conference (Ex-offenders talk)

Blackpool Zoo trip (Conditioning/ learning in animals)

Chartered Psychologist Guest Speakers (Forensic and Clinical Psychology)

Links with local University Departments for progression to HE and participation in Research Studies

Residential visit to Krakow, Poland (Auschwitz concentration camps)

End of year celebration with Sociology department

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Thomas Whitham Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 22 November 2016

Key information

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