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Psychology A level at Francis Combe Academy

Course description

Students who choose Psychology should have an Interest in science and how science works, as well as being curious about people and what makes them behave the way they do. This is because the course Includes learning about research studies designed to test psychologists' theories. You will learn about the strengths and limitations of this type of research, as well as conducting some psychology research of your own. 

Although the ability to write coherent and accurate English is required, the essays you will need to write In the 2nd year are only about 400 words long, and can be written using a straight forward, formulaic approach which can easily be mastered. There is also a certain amount of specialist terminology which needs to be acquired. The course requires a reasonable level of numeracy, although the understanding and skills needed are quite basic, and linked to statistics more than mathematics. 

Course content

In the lst year, we study social influence (for example: conformity, obedience, independence), memory (including eye witness testimony), infant/carer bonding, psychopathology (including how society decides whether someone is mentally ill), biopsychology (including the fight or flight response), research methods, issues and approaches.

In the 2nd year, we focus on human relationships (including on-line relationships), stress and forensic psychology, as well as revising what was covered in the year before. 

The course involves continually applying these topics to real life examples, and discussing the issues around psychologists' theories and research studies. Class discussions can be quite lively and humorous at times. 

Entry requirements

General entry requirement for a 2 year programme of 3 or 4 A levels including the facilitating subjects, is a mostly A*/B profile at GCSE, including 5 A* - C grades, including grade 5 maths and English.

General entry requirement for a 2 year programme of 3 A levels, or a combination of A levels and vocational qualifications, is a mostly B/C profile at GCSE including 5 A* - C grades, including grade 4 English.


The course does not include any externally assessed coursework - all assessment Is by three 2-hour exams at the end of the two-year course.

Home learning consists of short practice exam questions throughout the course, so by the time the actual examinations arrive, students are very familiar with the types of questions they will be asked.

There are also opportunities to practise whole exam sections under exam conditions at the end of each major topic. 

Future opportunities

Psychology Is one of the most versatile qualifications an ambitious student can choose. Psychology is useful for any job that requires interaction with people or an understanding of human behaviour and development. People with skills in psychology are sought after in business, management, teaching, research, advertising, journalism, social work, policing, and all kinds of careers in medicine and healthcare. 

You can also choose to go on and study Psychology at university, which would open the door to working in all of the following areas, and more...

  • Sports (helping athletes to build mental strategies to Improve their performance and handle pressure);
  • Education (studying child development and helping children experiencing difficulties with their education);
  • Clinical and counselling (treating people with mental health needs);
  • Forensic (assessing and treating criminal behaviour, which can involve working with offenders and victims of crime);
  • Occupational (aiming to increase the effectiveness of an organisation and improve job satisfaction);
  • Neuropsychology (studying how brain structure relates to behaviour, and helping to treat people suffering from brain Injuries);
  • Animal psychology (applying theories about how animals interact with one another, the environment, and human beings. or researching how they commynicate and learn). 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Francis Combe Academy directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2017
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