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Psychology AS and A Level at Tapton School

Course description

Psychology is a very popular subject. It is lively and interesting and covers a wide range of issues of concern to students and to the wider community. Psychology is of use to people in their every day lives, for example in understanding issues to do with mental health and is highly relevant to the world of work. Some Psychologists work in specialist fields such as clinical psychology or forensic psychology and others use their psychology knowledge more generally in fields such as retail, marketing or personnel work.  Prospective students should be aware that the subject is a technically challenging one and is a generally viewed as a science.

Course content

Students study material which is examined in three papers:

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

This covers four of the major areas of psychology, namely social influence (which covers topics such as obedience and conformity), memory, attachment (which covers the relationship between a child, its mother and other caregivers, such as the impact of upon the child of attending nursery) and psychopathology (which covers the application of psychological theory to the explanation and treatment of mental health problems.

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

This covers the major approaches in psychology (for example the work of behaviourists, Freudian psychology, etc).  It also covers the importance of bio-psychological ideas to explain human behaviour.  The research methods commonly used in psychology is also a focus of this paper, although students should note that the theme of research runs through all areas of the course.

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

This covers issues and debates in psychology, such as the nature v nurture debate and the gender / cultural biases present in psychological research and theory.  It also covers three options, one from each of three categories.  At present, we are planning to cover gender (for typical development), schizophrenia (from atypical development) and Forensic psychology (from maladaptive development).

Students who choose to take the AS course will study only the Paper 1 and Paper 2 material in Year 12.

 

Entry requirements

5 in English Language and 4 in Maths.

A grade E is needed in the AS to progress to the A Level.

Assessment

All three examination papers are 2 hours in duration and use a range of question styles, including multiple choice, short answer questions and extended writing.

At the end of Year 12, all students take the AS examination.  This consists of Paper 1 and Paper 2 only.  These examinations are 1.5 hours each in duration.  Students must pass the AS examination at grade D or higher in order to continue onto the Year 13 course.

Future opportunities

Students with Advanced Level Psychology have access to a wide range of possible higher education and other opportunities. Some students want to pursue careers as professional psychologists, whilst many others use the skills they have developed in a wide variety of occupations in fields such as physiotherapy, marketing, business and education. Psychology students develop a range of transferable skills which are in demand by a wide range of employers. They develop the ability to critically appraise material.  Students who want to study medicine often complete the AS course in Year 12, alongside their pure science subjects. 

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 15 November 2018

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year for AS and 2 years for A Level

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