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AS/A2 Psychology at Ricards Lodge High School

Course description

Psychology is the study of human behaviour which strives to help us understand the way we think, act and feel in our everyday lives. Psychology challenges students to apply scientific techniques to study a variety of human phenomena such as children’s development, mental disorders and Psychopathology. Psychology has become one of the most popular A level in recent years because it is removed from the typical GCSE syllabus that pupils have been used to. Although this is the case it is still an extremely practical subject as students are required to carry out Psychological investigations and evaluate their findings. Students are able to draw upon their knowledge of Maths, English, PSE and Science to report on the behaviour of individuals and society as a whole.

Course content

Module 1: Introductory topics in psychology

Social influence: States that behavior is intentionally or unintentionally influenced by others through conformity and/or obedience. Here we examine these topics and apply them to historical examples of social change such as the suffragettes. Memory: Examines the nature of memory and how it works including practical aspects such as its use in eyewitness testimony and exam revision. Attachment: Covers how attachments are formed and the impact of forming different types of attachment in adult relationships such as secure or insecure. Psychopathology: Looks at both how we define abnormality and the possible explanations for these abnormalities. A variety of psychological disorders are covered to fully explore this topic area.

Module 2: Psychology in context

Approaches in Psychology: As a scientific discipline, psychology is relatively new. As a result there are many approaches to explaining human behavior, each with a set of unique assumptions. Each major approach will be studied and applied to all areas of psychology. Biopsychology: A major approach in psychology, this section looks at the structure and function of the nervous system and its role in human behavior. Research methods: As a scientific discipline, psychology follows the scientific method using a variety of methods to study human behavior. This unit teaches the importance of experimental design and more importantly how to be critical about the findings of research.

Module 3: Issues and options in psychology

Issues and debates in Psychology: Issues and debates such as Freewill and Determinism underpin all psychological theory. This section examines these in detail and helps us to understand how to relate them to psychological theory. Relationships: One important aspect of social behavior is our ability to form romantic relationships. We look at the lifecycle of relationships and how culture can affect our behavior. Schizophrenia: A detailed study of a complex and fascinating disorder. This topic covers explanations and therapies for schizophrenia. Aggression: This unit examines the nature of aggression from both a psychological and biological view point.

Entry requirements

At least one Science GCSE and GCSE English Language at grade B or higher.


A level: Three written examinations, consisting of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, each lasting two hours

Future opportunities

A Level Psychology provides a solid foundation for those interested in careers as clinician/counselling psychologist, educational psychologist, teacher, police, social worker and Neuropsychologist.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 07 May 2015
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    • The combined 6th form of Ricards Lodge High School and Rutlish School offer students at every academic level access to courses in all curriculum areas including our specialist subjects – Mathematics, Computing, Performing and Visual Arts – ensuring access to University Education and a wide range of vocational careers. As a 6th form student at RR6 you will benefit from our commitment to first class teaching and also to providing a pastoral framework that will support you in becoming an independent achiever. Our Director of Sixth Form will work across both schools to ensure the quality and continuity of support, advice and guidance.

      You will also have access to new, high quality accommodation and resourcing including a learning resources centre,  wi-fi facilities and specialist classroom space.