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Psychology GCE at Feltham Community College (School)

Course description

What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course? You do not need any previous knowledge to study psychology. However the nature of the course means that having both maths and English language, to grade C or better at GCSE level, is strongly advisable. The course involves some essay writing, data collection and interpretation of evidence. What will I learn? AS Psychology You will learn about fi ve major approaches to psychology in the AS course. In each one you will discover a key topic of research, learn about important studies related to that topic, and find out how research is conducted in that area of psychology. You will learn to use statistical tests to help interpret data collected in class exercises. Here is a short summary of each of the five Approaches: Social Psychology investigates how our behaviour changes because of the way we relate to people around us. You will study two themes: * what makes people obey orders, even when the orders are known to be wrong * what prejudice is In Cognitive Psychology you will again study two themes: * memory, how it is created and how it is organised * why people forget. The remaining three approaches focus on how we develop, with a particular focus on gender. Within the Psychodynamic Approach you will study Freud's view of how early childhood experiences and relationships with our parents create our personality and our gender identity. In the Biological Approach you will learn why some psychologists see our genes as the main source of differences in thinking style and behaviour between males and females. In contrast, other psychologists see differences between males and females as mainly due to learned behaviour. How such learning occurs is covered in the Learning Approach. A2 Psychology The A2 course gives you an opportunity to study some uses of psychology in the real world. You will discover how the Approaches you have learned about come together to explain human behaviour. In all areas, you will be encouraged to use recent evidence from events in the news. You will study two optional Applications out of four that are available: Criminological Psychology looks at psychological explanations for criminal behaviour, problems with eyewitness testimony and treating offenders. Child Psychology looks at the development of relationships in infancy, as well as the impact of day care on young children. Health Psychology considers the problems associated with the use of recreational drugs. Sport Psychology looks at the reasons why individuals participate in sport, and why some give up sport at an early age. It also considers the reasons why some people excel in training and flop on the big occasion, while for others the reverse is true. You will also study Clinical Psychology where you will learn about explanations for mental illness, their diagnosis and treatment. You will study two disorders, including schizophrenia. In the A2 course you will cover a section on Issues and Debates, where all the material you have covered is drawn together to develop an overview of the subject. You will look at the contributions psychology has made to society, what methods it uses and whether the research conducted is ethical. You will also address problems associated with psychological knowledge being used to control people's behaviour, the infl uences of inheritance and upbringing and the question of whether psychology is really a science. Is it the right subject for me? The most important quality for anyone wanting to study psychology is to fi nd people fascinating. Are you intrigued by why people act in the way they do? If so, then psychology will capture your imagination and you will never look at people in the same way again. You will need to: * be willing to have your opinions and values challenged * be willing to listen to and take on board new ideas and novel arguments * be able to see both sides of an issue and not reject one side simply because you initially believe it is wrong. Psychology provides many opportunities to develop skills in assessing debates and arguments. Edexcel GCE in Psychology Getting Started 49 Student Guide How will I be assessed? The course is assessed through four Unit examinations, two for the AS units and two for the A2 units. As with all subjects, the AS level contributes half the marks to the fi nal A level. Level Topics covered Length of exam AS Unit 1 Social and Cognitive Approaches 1 hour 20 minutes Unit 2 Psychodynamic, Biological and Learning Approaches 1 hour 40 minutes A2 Unit 3 Two options chosen from Criminological, Child, Health and Sport Psychology 1 hour 30 minutes Unit 4 Clinical Psychology and Issues and Debates 2 hours All the units contain some Short Answer Questions and some Extended Writing. The AS Units also contain some Multiple Choice Questions. What can I do after I've completed the course? Psychology is a very useful subject for any career where you interact with people. Occupations such as journalism, nursing and marketing all welcome trainees who have studied psychology. If you are considering Higher Education, psychology can be an invaluable subject. Because it sits on the boundary between Arts and Science subjects, it combines elements of both. If you choose the Arts route, psychology shows a competence in scientifi c thinking and numeracy that will add breadth to your skills. Similarly, the Science route can often lack the opportunity to show your ability to construct a well argued essay, but psychology will show you can do this. Next steps * Talk to the psychology staff and students at the school/college where you intend to study. * Look at the detailed course information on the Edexcel website: * Look at the British Psychological Society's website: It gives details of courses in psychology, career opportunities for those who study psychology and even has an e-zine for

Entry requirements


Future opportunities

NoYou could take this course to complement other advanced level courses such as a science or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Psychology, which could lead you onto higher education to study Psychology or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Psychology and people such as a Counsellor, Nurse or Psychologist. You could also go straight into a job as the AS GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Feltham Community College (School) directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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