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Psychology A level at Acton High School

Course description

Psychology is the study of people’s behaviour and thoughts in a scientific way in order to try to make sense of ourselves and each other. In this subject we develop theories about why people think and act the way we do, and use these theories to try to make predictions about what people might do next. This course looks at the different ways of approaching the study of people – Should we start by looking at the make up of our brains? Or at the behaviours we display? Should we start by investigating people’s experiences in childhood? Should we simply ask people how and why they do what they do? (And if we do, can we believe the answers?) These different approaches to understanding human thought and behaviour build up a rich, varied and complex picture to help us understand who we are.

Course content

AS Level

Paper 1 - Introductory Topics in Psychology, 50% of the total AS marks (1 hour 30 minutes) Topics studied will include Social Influence; Memory and Attachment. Written paper, three sections each with multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (24 marks each section).

Paper 2 - Psychology in Context, 50% of the total AS marks (1 hour 30 minutes) Topics studied will include Approaches in Psychology; Psychopathology; Research methods. Written paper, three sections each with multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (24 marks each section).

A Level

Paper 1 - Introductory Topics in Psychology, 33.3% of the total A Level marks (2 hours) Topics studied will include Social Influence; Memory; Attachment and Psychopathology. Written paper, four sections each with multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (24 marks each section).

Paper 2 - Psychology in Context, 33.3% of the total A Level marks (2 hours) Topics studied will include approaches in Psychology; Biopsychology; Research Methods; Issues and Debates in Psychology. Written paper, three sections each with multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (24 marks for each of sections A and B, 48 marks for section C).

Paper 3 - Issues and Options in Psychology, 33.3% of the total A Level marks (2 hours) Topics studied could include Relationships; Gender; Cognition; Schizophrenia; Eating behaviour; Stress; Aggression; Forensic Psychology; Addiction. Written paper, four sections each with multiple choice, short answer and extended writing (24 marks each section).

Entry requirements

Pathway 4. Pathway 3 students may be considered but will be asked to attend a subject interview.

Future opportunities

Those who have studied Psychology have a wide range of career options available to them. Students may choose to work within the discipline – in mental health care, as therapists or researchers, but they may also choose other professions where understanding people is of value, e.g. marketing, recruitment, PR, teaching, social work, etc. The academic rigour of Psychology is well regarded by employers as it teaches students to look for evidence to support their arguments and to approach ideas with a critical eye.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 04 April 2016
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