Psychology is a fascinating subject, which you already use in your everyday life. Every time you try to figure out why someone acted a certain way, or predict what someone might do next, you’re using psychology. Psychology is the science of the mind and behaviour, and it aims to answer a wide range of complex questions, such as why do some people commit crimes, and how can we help people with mental illnesses?
Psychologists apply scientific methodology to explain human behaviour. They formulate theories, test hypotheses by conducting research, and analyse their data with statistical techniques that help them identify important findings.
Studying psychology will give you lots of career options, especially if you are interested in working with people, or in areas that need good problem-solving skills. This is because it develops valuable transferable skills, such as effective writing skills, critical reasoning skills, and carrying out research and interpreting findings. For these reasons, psychology graduates are highly regarded by employers and have a good chance of finding employment, although only about 25% of psychology graduates end up working as professional psychologists. If you are interested in becoming a professional psychologist, you will need a postgraduate qualification. To find out more, visit the British Psychology Society's career page.
The Course and Its Structure
This course assumes no prior psychology knowledge. Some students may have a GCSE in psychology, but most will not, and they are not disadvantaged. Students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of psychology through a range of topics. At the end of two years you will sit three examinations:
Paper 1 Social Influence 2 hours examination 96 marks Memory Attachment Psychopathology
Paper 2 Approaches in Psychology 2 hours examination 96 marks Biopsychology Research Methods
Paper 3 Issues and Debates in Psychology 2 hours examination 96 marks Option 1: Relationships Option 2: Schizophrenia Option 3: Aggression
Papers 1 and 2 content will be covered in the first year, leaving Paper 3 content for the second year, along with extensive revision and practise of examination technique.
The Academy’s general entry criteria of a minimum of five 4s at GCSE applies. A minimum of 4 in English Language is needed to study Psychology at A Level.
To find out more about the A Level course, click here, to visit the AQA website.