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Psychology (Short Course) GCSE/AS AQA at Sandown Bay Academy

Course description

Why do you do what you do? What motivates you, what drives you – consciously or unconsciously? Who are you and exactly how much control did you have over who you are now and who you will become? Who is driving you? Do you have any steering and how are your brakes? Psychology tries to answer such questions through the study of the mind and the behaviour of humans (and animals), with the emphasis upon the individual. It can provide an insight into why individuals respond to their environment as they do, how to avoid antagonism, how to target information and so on; giving you an obvious advantage. Surely, by knowing why, you can arrive at useful solutions more successfully and efficiently. For example, a teacher can learn to recognise which pupils will respond best to certain forms of encouragement and be able to target attention upon potentially disruptive behaviour before the classroom is affected. As a result, Psychology is relevant to any career that centres upon interactions with people. THIS SUBJECT TESTS A RANGE OF SKILLS, SO IS NOT TO BE TAKEN ON LIGHTLY. Since the full A level is a very tough (although genuinely rewarding) course, there could be an option to do a two year AS course, if numbers are high enough. This will consist of a “Short course” GCSE qualification in the first year, followed by the AS course in Yr13. The short course covers Memory, but also Non-verbal communications; Personality development; Causes of discrimination and vitally allows more time to become confortable with SCIENTIFIC METHODS of data collection that often takes time to become familiar with. (see and look up psychology under “social science”) AS UNITS: Note: all modules contribute to 25% of the total overall grade. The exam papers have a series of short definition/factors questions, evaluation of key studies questions and mini essay debates. Unit 1: Cognitive Psychology (Memory and eye-witness testimony) and Developmental Psychology (attachment, deprivation/separation, evaluation of day care). Plus Research methods strengths and weaknesses. Unit 2: Physiological Psychology (the cause and effect stress), Individual Difference (abnormality – biological and psychological models. Also, Social Psychology (conformity, obedience and independent behaviour).

Entry requirements

No causes for concern over homework in last two terms of year 11; A minimum of “B” in Mathematics (statistics), English (communication skills; verbal and written) and Sciences (research methods). Those with lower grades usually struggle with the language and new concepts.

Future opportunities

POSSIBLE PROGRESSION: Any job that involves interaction, management and care of people. NB: Psychology is considered a scientific subject, but a second science would benefit a future medical career. SUGGESTED COMBINATIONS: Sociology, Biology, History and Philosophy have overlapping skills and course content (that would be a lot of reading and essay writing though!) MORE IMPORTANT: Memory is linked to motivation – so do the subjects you enjoy!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sandown Bay Academy directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year