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Psychology IB at Impington Village College

Course description

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.

Course content

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.

Entry requirements

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.


Future opportunities

What Do Psychology Graduates Do?

Psychology graduates develop a range of skills transferable to graduate careers. These include:


information technology;

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

Further information

For more information about choosing courses at Impington International Sixth Form please see Choosing your IB Programme or contact the sixth form

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: 27 June 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

Contact details


  • More information
    • Impington International College is unusual, to say the least, and is possibly unique amongst state education providers. The chance for young people from all over the world to work and socialise together gives tremendous opportunities for broadening cultural horizons, increasing understanding and challenging preconceptions. Impington International College offers a wide range of courses and programmes: BTECs and, since 1991, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), followed recently by the International Baccalaureate Careers Programme (IBCP). At the heart of all of our provision is the IB mission statement, which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. We actively encourage our students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. We have a good balance between overseas and UK students who come here to take the IBDP & IBCP and those who follow the BTEC route and others who are attracted by Impington’ s superb reputation in the area of Performance. We want outstanding achievement for all our students no matter what path they choose to follow. Our tutorial system and small class sizes ensure lots of individual attention but we encourage students to be independent and think for themselves. Our alumni are welcomed everywhere from Cambridge or St Andrew’s Universities, to The Place and Italia Conti; from Maastricht or Japan to UCAL. If you are prepared to challenge yourself to the full and if the opportunity to learn in an international environment motivates you, Impington International College will be the right place to prepare you for the next stage of your life.