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Psychology A Level at Keswick School

Course description

Psychology is a social science with cutting edge research that can be applied to issues we see in everyday life, such as psychological disorders, memory and aggression.

Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour, and bridges the gap between the academic study of the social sciences and the natural sciences. Psychology links well with science especially biology and also business, maths, geography, history, English, sociology, philosophy and ethics and PE.


Course content

Year 1

Social influence - this topic focuses on why people obey authority and also why people conform within social situations. We also study how and why people stand out from the crowd and are able to resist pressures to conform or obey.

Memory - studying models of how the long term and short term memory works. Also studying how police conduct interviews and look at eyewitness testimony so that they can get reliable evidence.

Attachment - studying how children get attached to those who care for them. How these attachments are studied and problems in attachment in children who have had no chance to form attachments; for example, children brought up in Romanian orphanages.

Biopsychology the nervous system and hormones in determining behaviour, the fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline, the function in the brain and recovery of the brain after trauma, ways of studying the brain and biological rhythms and sleep.

Approaches in psychology - the fundamental approaches in psychology e.g. cognitive, behavioural and biological. This includes how our biology influences our behaviour e.g. fight or flight mechanisms.

Psychopathology - studying what the above approaches claim causes phobias, OCD and depression and what therapies they offer to treat them.

Research methods - looking at research methods and reporting and also designing our own research into a variety of interesting psychological topics.

Year 2

Forensic Psychology Problems in defining crime, offender profiling, ways of explaining offending behaviour, the criminal personality. Dealing with offending behaviour: the aims of custodial sentencing and the psychological effects of custodial sentencing. Anger management and restorative justice. programmes.

Schizophrenia - classification of schizophrenia. Positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, explanations for schizophrenia, drug therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy.

Cognition and development - Piaget, Vygotsky and Baillargeon. The development of social cognition: theory of mind, including theory of mind as an explanation for autism

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in maths is preferred.


Papers 1, 2 & 3: three written examinations of 120 minutes each. Worth 33.3% respectively of the final A level marks.

Future opportunities

A background in psychology can be useful for careers in psychology (e.g. clinical, educational, occupational, sports, forensic and criminal), medicine, law, police, social work, teaching, physiotherapy and nursing.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 30 March 2017
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