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Course leader: Mr R Tuffin

Aims of the course:

This course introduces students to the theories and methods of Psychology. It offers them the opportunity to look at some of the explanations psychologists provide in trying to understand humans and their interactions with the world.

The course aims to develop both students’ psychological skills and their psychological knowledge. Students study a variety of psychological research studies that represent the range of psychologists' interests and the methods they use.

What are lessons like?

Lessons are varied and activities are chosen to suit the theory / topic. You can expect to experience the following during the course of the full two year programme:

  • Observations
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Timed response
  • Visits
  • Essays
  • Practical investigations
  • Internet research
  • Interactive quizzes

Year 12 Topics

  • Core areas of Psychology
    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Social Psychology
    • Biological Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology
    • The psychology of individual differences
  • Themes
    • ethics
    • ethnocentrism
    • application to everyday life
    • nature v nurture and many more
  • Psychological methodology
    • lab experiments
    • field experiments
    • observations and more

Year 13 Topics

Builds upon the knowledge gained in Year 1.

Applied Psychology where you will study:

  • Issues in Mental Health
  • Child Psychology
  • Criminal Psychology

How you will be assessed:

Year 12

Psychological Themes Through Core Studies

  • End of year progression exam based on 20 core studies.

Research Methods

  • End of year progression exam based on research method content.

Year 13

Psychological Themes Through Core Studies

  • Short answer and essay question based around the 20 key studies that are investigated during the year (2 hours)

Research Methods

  • 2 hour exam paper featuring a mix of short questions and data response

Applied Psychology

  • 2 hour written exam based around studies in selected areas as well as issues of mental health

Cost of the course:

A core text book will be recommended costing approximately £20.00

Entry Requirements

It is expected that you will have achieved a high GCSE grade 5 or above in Mathematics in order to access the level of course content.

Recommended Prior Learning:

Owing to mathematical content in the course a good standard of mathematics is expected for entry onto the course, grade requirements to be confirmed.

Where can this course lead to?

The obvious progression from studying A-level Psychology is continuation at degree level. However, the course also offers the development of skills which will assist in most careers.

The unit Criminal Psychology is particularly relevant to a career in the Police or Legal field. Mental Health psychology will provide a good understanding of health care and clinical practices.

Why choose to study Psychology at St Mary’s?

Over the last 5 years Psychology has consistently been a top performing A Level at St Mary’s College. Throughout the course you will develop a basic level of understanding of the field of psychology through the use of varied teaching and learning approaches. Ranging from traditional teaching methods, you will also have the opportunity to conduct your own research. Group work plays an import part during the course and visits to places such as the local court also provide practical experiences of this applied science. Above all Psychology offers you a chance to gain answers to questions that all of us consider throughout life – why we behave like we do and what influences our behaviour.