Psychology IB at Impington Village College
What is psychology and why would you choose to study it? Psychology is one of the social sciences and as such it takes a scientific approach to the study of the human mind and behaviour. You should study it because it is a fascinating subject, through which you can find out why people behave the way they do, including yourself. Further, because psychology bridges the gap between science and the arts it can go equally well with other sciences such as Biology or arts subjects such as English. Finally there are a number of careers for which a knowledge of psychology would be useful such as nursing, law, social work, teaching, the police, psychology and psychiatry.
With every thought and emotion, every human interaction and behaviour offering potential material for study the IB aims to develop an appreciation of students for this eclectic mix, providing an understanding of the diverse methods and content as well as an awareness of the social, biological and cultural influences on human behaviour. This is achieved by studying for three exam papers:
Paper 1 - Perspectives
This paper provides a solid foundation as students explore the different approaches that have been taken to the study of psychology.
All students study:
The Cognitive Perspective: Which focuses on how we process and use information, for example how our memories work.
The Biological Perspective: Where students learn about how brains work at the macro level.
The Learning Perspective: Which is concerned with; how human beings acquire new knowledge and skills; the extent to which we are born with certain abilities whilst others need to be learned; and whether we simply respond to our environment or make positive conscious decisions.
Higher students also study:
The Humanistic Perspective: This perspective is rooted in European Philosophy and challenges the idea that people can be studied scientifically.
Paper 2 - Options
From the range offered by the IB syllabus students currently study the two following options:
Dysfunctional Psychology: This looks at what is normal and what is abnormal, raising questions about whether or not it is possible to diagnose abnormality and offering insight into how culturally relative our understanding of insanity is. Further, students develop a critical awareness to the different views on what causes psychological dysfunction and how to treat it.
Social Psychology: Again this aspect of psychology is almost infinitely wide. The syllabus focuses on three interesting and controversial areas; prejudice and discrimination; obedience and conformity; and collective behaviour (the behaviour of crowds).
Paper 3 - Research Methods
All students gain practical experience, discovering how psychological investigations are carried out and gain direct experience of running experiments, conducting questionnaires and carrying out observational studies. This culminates in each student doing their own piece of research for coursework.
Students are not required to have studied Psychology before.
For the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), a student should be a general all-round student, with at least 7 6-grades or higher at GCSE or level 2 equivalent and have a 6 grade or more in the subject s/he wishes to take at IB diploma higher level or as IB single-subject certificate.
What Do Psychology Graduates Do?
Psychology graduates develop a range of skills transferable to graduate careers. These include:
handling of data/statistics;
the ability to work in teams.
Studying a psychology degree fosters a valuable aptitude for work in both the science and arts fields, and forms a flexible basis for a wide number of careers. The scientific aspects of the course, including the application of a reasoned approach, problem-solving and manipulation of data, provide useful tools for careers in healthcare, law enforcement, finance, IT and research. While the understanding about human behaviour and motivation, ability to critically analyse a problem, formulate a considered response, create an argument and generate new ideas, lend themselves well to careers in the creative industries, the legal sector, government administration and education.
According to the Higher Education Careers Service Unit 57.8% of psychology graduates from 2010 went straight into employment whilst over 25% went on to further training. Below is the list of the type of work entered for those in employment.
24.8% Other Occupations
18.5% Retail, Catering, Waiting and Bar Staff
14.5% Social & Welfare Professionals
10.0% Other Clerical and Secretarial Occupations
7.0% Commercial, Industrial and Public Sector Managers
5.7% Business and Financial Professionals and Associate Professionals
4.2% Education Professionals
4.0% Marketing, Sales and Advertising Professionals
2.7% Health Professionals and Associate Professionals
2.3% Numerical Clerks and Cashiers
1.4% Arts, Design, Culture and Sports Professionals
0.6% Information Technology Professionals
0.3% Scientific Research, Analysis & Development Professionals
0.2% Engineering Professionals
0.2% Legal Professionals
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.