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Psychology A Level at Shirley High School Performing Arts College

Course description

Psychology is an increasingly popular subject, which provides a link between the social and natural sciences by studying aspects of the human mind and behaviour. In the first year of A level, the course provides a broad-based introduction to many of the fascinating topics in Psychology. In the second year, the A level course extends on previous topics and new areas are also explored in depth for those wishing to further develop their interest and enjoyment in this exciting area of study.

Course content

The course follows a context led approach.

Students will cover 3 units:

A level units:

  • Paper 1: Social influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology
  • Paper 2: Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research methods
  • Paper 3: Issues and debates in Psychology, Relationships, Schizophrenia, Forensic Psychology

Entry requirements

A good standard of written English, suitable discussion skills and an ability to critically analyse and deal with research information logically is essential. This specification places emphasis on scientific concepts and skills and requires competence in areas of mathematics including arithmetic and numerical computation and data handling; therefore students must have suitable grades in these subjects.

When qualifying to study A level subjects we will accept a ‘5’ as the equivalent grade for the new GCSE 1-9 measure for English and Maths. Most A level courses require a ‘B’ which is the equivalent of a ‘6’. BTEC Level 2 qualifications will only be counted in place of one GCSE subject. This is because they are not considered to have the required breadth of study necessary for the demands of a varied combination of A level subjects.


Exam Board: AQA

Three written examinations of 2 hours duration (Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 3 will all be taken in June at the end of the two year course).

Each exam accounts for 33.3% of the A level grade.

Future opportunities

Psychology involves the systematic study of mind and behaviour. It develops logical thought and analysis of abstract concepts. Psychology Advanced level is acceptable for a wide range of science, social science and humanities courses in further and higher education. Specialisation in psychology could lead to careers in clinical or educational psychology, counselling, occupational or forensic psychology, also marketing or business.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Shirley High School Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2017
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