Head of Department: – Mr N Eliasson MTL (BCU) BSc (Herts) PGCE (Cantab)
A Level Psychology Course Information
At St Edmund’s College we are teaching the AQA qualification in Psychology from September 2018. This course encourages learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, practical and worthwhile course of study. Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.
COURSE CONTENT IN RHETORIC I
The course provides students with an introduction to Psychology and prepares them for the rigours of further study in this area.
7181/01 – Introductory topics in Psychology
The introductory topics paper allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics in Psychology, including Social influence, Memory and Attachment. In all areas students will be able to analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods.
7181/02 – Psychology in context
Psychology in context allows students to explore more topics in Psychology whilst increasing their knowledge and understanding of Research Methods. Half of this paper is based on scientific research skills and mathematical skills and will therefore involve students designing and conducting research, alongside analysing and interpreting data. Students will also learn the origins of psychology, Biopsychology and Psychopathology where students learn about abnormality and are able to evaluate therapies regarding their appropriateness and effectiveness.
COURSE CONTENT IN RHETORIC II
7182/01 – Introductory topics in Psychology
Students will continue to practice the introductory topics paper allowing them to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics in Psychology, including Social influence, Memory and Attachment. In all areas students will be able to analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods. This will be the same content as in AS Psychology but will also include Psychopathology with greater focus on essay writing.
7182/02 – Psychology in context
Psychology in context allows students to explore more topics in Psychology whilst increasing their knowledge and understanding of Research Methods. Half of this paper is based on scientific research skills and mathematical skills and will therefore involve students designing and conducting research, alongside analysing and interpreting data. In A2 Psychology more Research Methods will be taught and assessed with greater emphasis on the student’s ability to theoretically create and design their own investigations and select and use a range of inferential statistics. There will also be a greater focus of Biopsychology with the study of neurons and the nervous system, localisation of brain function, biological rhythms and ways of studying the brain.
7182/03 – Issues and options in Psychology
Issues and options in Psychology regards new content not covered in AS Psychology and allows students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical issues in relation to three new optional topics. The options available include Relationships, Gender, Cognition and Development, Schizophrenia, Eating Behaviour, Stress, Aggression, Forensic Psychology and Addiction. Students will also learn fundamental issues and debates that exist within Psychology such as the nature nurture debate.
Pupils will need to work in an independent and organised manner. Although the subject matter is often new, this is an opportunity to study a fascinating and stimulating area. As research methods are at the heart of the course, strong levels in Mathematics (7/6) and Science (6 and above) are required to study this subject in Rhetoric I. Students will be required to critically assess research, suggest ways in which the research methods could be improved and design procedures to enhance already established practice.
As an extra-curricular activity, students can choose to attend discussion based lessons which explore psychological concepts not covered in the course.
Students are encouraged to share ideas and explore how psychological principles can be applied to society. These theories include body language experts, specialist interviewers interrogating disturbed criminals and current researchers investigating the benefits of Dance Therapy on neurodegenerative disorders.
There are few areas of our lives today that do not benefit from insight resulting from robust psychological research and students are encouraged to think about the real world applications of Psychology as they study the course.
Higher education and career prospects
Students considering a degree in Psychology are advised to take a general course accredited by the British Psychological Society at the end of which they can choose a specialism. This can be in clinical, occupational, educational or criminal practice, however, the analytical skills of Psychology graduates are valued by many professions. Higher level insight into human behaviour appeals to employers, such as advertising agencies and the possibilities really are limitless.