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Psychology A Level at St Benedict's Catholic School

Course description

Research Methods
This component is intended to introduce and develop a knowledge and understanding of the process of planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques.

Psychological themes through core studies
This component focuses on some of the central areas of investigation in psychology. For each area of psychology, there is a key theme for which students are presented with both a classic and a contemporary study. The classic studies are ‘landmark’ pieces of research that have helped to shape the course of the subject and which all students of Psychology should be familiar with. The contemporary studies are more up-to date pieces of research that engage in some way with the issues being explored in the classic studies they are paired.

Research Methods
This component is intended to introduce and develop a knowledge and understanding of the process of planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques. Students are required to conduct their own practical work, they are provided with the opportunity to understand what’s involved in a range of different research methods and techniques. An awareness of associated strengths and weaknesses is also developed. Students are encouraged to reflect on their research journeys as they develop vital investigative skills and develop an appreciation of the principles of empirical scientific enquiry.

Psychological themes through core studies
Component 2 introduces key themes and core studies in psychology. The selection of classic and contemporary studies enables students to appreciate how psychological knowledge and understanding develop over time and enables students to place research in its historical context. The contemporary studies are more ‘up-to-date’ pieces of research that engage in some way with the issues being explored in the classic studies they are paired. By the end of the component, students will have built up a varied knowledge of exemplar studies, a sound understanding of key themes and areas, and strong critical evaluation skills.

Applied Psychology
Component 3 introduces a new and engaging compulsory section on issues in mental health and an exciting range of options as students discover how psychology is used in applied areas, choosing two options from a choice of four: Child psychology, Criminal psychology, Environmental psychology, Sport and exercise psychology

Through this component, students explore applications of psychology and gain an insight into how theory can be applied to real-world situations. The assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning through extended writing. Methodological issues and debates also run throughout components 2 and 3 and include:
- Nature/nurture, Freewill/determinism, Reductionism/holism, Individual/situational explanations, Usefulness of research, Ethical considerations, Conducting socially sensitive research, Psychology as a science

Entry requirements

You will need to have achieved a level 6 in maths, and Bs in science and either humanities or English

Assessment

Students will be required to sit three 2 hour written exams:
- Paper 1: Research methods, worth 90 marks (30% of A-level)
- Paper 2: Psychological themes through core studies, worth 105 marks (35% of Alevel)
- Paper 3: Applied psychology, worth 105 marks (35% of A-level)

Future opportunities

Psychologists systematically investigate human behaviour and experience, with the aim of trying to explain, understand, predict or manage behaviour. It is hoped that what they discover helps us to live better, happier lives and make a positive contribution to human welfare. Psychologists work in many different sectors such as health, clinical, sport, forensics, occupation, business, technology, education and media.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Benedict's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 16 March 2017
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