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Psychology A Level at Maricourt Catholic High School

Course description

In a sense you are already a psychologist and have been most of your life. We are all interested in what makes people tick. When we first meet people we ask questions and we observe their behavior in order to find out about them. We also try to present a good image of ourselves to them. Studying A level Psychology takes this interest further than ‘everyday Psychology’. Psychology is the study of people how people think, how they act, react and interact. Studying Psychology provides the student with a scientific way of analysing thinking and behavior.

This course provides a broad introduction to the scope and nature of Psychology as a science. The emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding rather than just acquiring knowledge, thereby developing students’ transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking.

Course content

AS Psychology

Cognitive Psychology - Models of memory and memory in everyday life.

Developmental Psychology – Early social development, attachment, disruption of attachment.

Social Psychology – Explanations and research into majority and minority influence, explanations and research into obedience. How people resist pressures to conform and resist pressures to obey authority.

Research Methods – Knowledge and understanding of a variety of research methods

Approaches in Psychology – Pupils will learn the basic assumptions about the core approaches in Psychology; the learning approach, the cognitive approach and the biological approach.

Psychpathology – Defining abnormality and limitations of these definitions. Biological approaches to psychopathology. Biological and psychological therapies involved with abnormality

A2 Psychology

Students will be expected to develop knowledge, understanding and skills of analysis and evaluation in relation to three topics as well as the above AS content.

Biopsychology – including stress and the body’s response to stress.

Issues and debates in Psychology – key debates such as free will and determinism and nature nurture throughout Psychology

Gender- How we develop and maintain gender identity

Aggression- This includes social psychological approaches to explaining aggression. Biological and evolutionary explanations of aggression

Schizophrenia – including; biological and psychological explanations of the disorder, as well as treatments both past and present.

Psychological Research and scientific Method - Understanding the application of scientific method in Psychology.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs grades at A*-C including a grade B in English Literature and Language and grade B in Mathematics. If students just fall short of the entry requirements we will look for a B grade in Religious Studies.


All units are tested by external examination. Examinations will include; multiple choice questions, short answers and extended writing to a maximum of 16 mark essays.

Future opportunities

Psychologists are best known for their work in health and education services, but psychologists can be found in almost any area of life.

There are a variety of post-degree career paths such as:

Clinical psychologists – working in health and care settings

Counseling psychologists – in private practice and commercial settings

Educational psychologists – in local education authorities, schools and special schools

Forensic psychologists – working in penal establishments, special hospitals and with young offenders.

Neuropsychologists – helping people with brain injury.

Further information

The course has proved to be very popular among students who find the course interesting and rewarding. Many students choose to study Psychology or related courses, such as Criminology, at University. Students develop transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking. These skills are useful in any career they choose. The study of psychology brings about an awareness of the variety and complexity of the human mind, behavior and human relationships. It promotes understanding of self, other people, moral behavior and thought as well as cultural differences/similarities.


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 February 2017

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