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Psychology A level at Wirral Grammar School for Boys

Course description

Psychology is the scientific study of brain and behaviour. The specification studied at WGSB offers students the chance to study psychological theories, research, terminology, statistics, interpretation, analysis and evaluation. The course will cover areas such as the Biological basis of behaviour (brain, nervous system, hormones, genetics and twin studies). Also cognitive psychology (memory, learning and language acquisition), developmental psychology (child development) and other areas within the OPTION paper at A2.

Course content

AS

Unit 1 INTRODUCING PSYCHOLOGY

Assessed in 3 sections

Section A
Approaches (Biopsychology, Behaviourism, Cognitive, Psychodynamic & Humanistic psychology).

Section B
Psychology of Gender (Gender development, concepts and explaining gender development).

Section C
Research Methods (planning research, experimental and non-experimental methods, representing data and descriptive statistics, ethics)

Unit 2 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

A2

Unit 3 CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND APPLIED OPTIONS

Section A Child Development (Social development)
Section B Applied Options
Two from:
- Cognition and Law
- Mood disorders and Schizophrenia
- Stress and Stress Management
- Substance Abuse, Treatment and Prevention Forensic Psychology

Unit 4 APPROACHES, DEBATES AND METHODS

Section A
Biological, behaviourist, cognitive, social learning theory, psychoanalytical and humanistic approaches

Section B
Debates (free-will / determinism, nature / nurture, holism and reductionism, idiographic and nomothetic approaches, psychology and science)

Section C
Statistical inference, tests and issues.

Entry requirements

Pupils must gain at least a grade B (or BB) in GCSE Biology / Science and maths to study this at AS / A2 level.

Assessment

AS

Unit 1 (60 marks) is worth 50% of the total AS marks
The examination is 1.5 hours. Candidates answer 3 compulsory questions, one from each section.

Unit 2 (60 marks) is worth 50% of the total AS marks
The examination is 1.5 hours. Candidates answer one question (from a choice of 2) from each section.

A2

Unit 3 (60 marks) is worth 25% of the total A2 marks
Candidates answer one question from Section A and two from Section B.

Unit 4 (60 marks) is worth 25% of the total A2 marks
Candidates answer one question from Section A and one compulsory question in Section B and Section C.

In each exam there are 3 questions, each worth 20 marks. The questions all contain some short structured questions and one essay-style extended writing question i.e. in each examination each pupil will write 3 essays.

Future opportunities

University:
Psychology as a pure discipline at University is a very popular choice amongst undergraduates now. This has led to very high entrance requirements. However, Psychology can be studied as part of many ‘Joint Honours’ degrees or ‘Applied’ degrees and these are much more accessible to the majority of school leavers.

Careers:
- Many possibilities, the most obvious being Psychiatry which would involve some medical training as a post-graduate as it is medicine-based.

- Psychology is also a precursor for many types of therapy or counselling careers, roles as carers with mentally ill or handicapped. Rehabilitation support etc.

- Alternatively psychology is now utilised within many business areas such as Ergonomics (designing equipment to fit the human form e.g. car consoles or cock-pit layouts). Dynamics of hierarchy and employee well-being within large corporations often involves psychologists.

- Educational psychologists work with child assessment. This could involve issues from dyslexia diagnosis and autism to rehabilitation of abused / neglected children. The work would involve liaising with teachers, social workers, health authorities and local governments etc.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wirral Grammar School for Boys directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2015

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