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Psychology A level at Oaks Park High School

Course description

Psychology is the science of mind and behaviour.
In the first year you will study the main approaches in psychology and how they attempt to explain behaviour. You will encounter questions such as 'what causes prejudice?, 'what makes us aggressive? and 'why do people develop phobias?
In the second year you will apply these approaches to the areas of Clinical, and Health, Criminal or Child Psychology. In addition, you will consider how psychologists conduct their research to help them in developing theories, discuss issues such as ethics and the nature nurture debate and conduct data analysis. 
A variety of teaching methods will be used including worksheets, discussions and practical experiments. Students will have access to one of the main supporting textbooks and there are several other useful books and websites. 
Psychology combines well with both Arts and Science A' levels and is particularly complemented by Sociology and Biology. 

Course content

First year

  • Cognitive Psychology - mental processes e.g. memory and memory disorders such as dementia.
  • Social Psychology - the influence of others and society e.g. obedience and prejudice. 
  • Biological Psychology - studying the CNS and the brain and theories of aggression. 
  • Learning Psychology - theories of learning and the acquisition and treatment of phobias. 
  • You will complete four practical investigations relating to the above approaches, including calculation of statistical tests. 


Second year

  • Clinical Psychology - diagnosing and treating disorders, schizophrenia and one other disorder.
  • Psychological Skills - methodology, statistics, issues and debates. 
  • Health Psychology - effects of drugs and treating addiction. 
  • Criminal Psychology - causes / treating crime, EWT and jury decisions.
  • Child Psychology - attachment, deprivation / privation and autism. 

Entry requirements

B Grade in GCSE Maths and C Grade in Science (Core & Additional) 


All units are assessed through examinations.

Exams involve short answer questions, extended writing and data analysis. In addition to the exams, students will be required to complete several investigations throughout the two years. 

Future opportunities

Psychology is excellent preparation for higher education as it requires good literacy and scientific skills.
Psychology is relevant to any career where a deeper understanding of people would be useful, ranging from advertising, medicine, personal management, law, social work and education. There are many areas of professional psychology including forensic, clinical and educational.
(Those wishing to study psychology at degree level should note that some universities require a science/ maths A' level.) 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Oaks Park High School directly.

Last updated date: 15 November 2016
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