Psychology is a great choice if you have a genuine interest in learning a scientific approach to understanding human behaviour. Although Psychology is a fascinating subject it demands a thorough, logical and rigorous understanding of methodology which can be used to evaluate human behaviour. Most of our students have not studied GCSE Psychology at school but many of our students do go on to study Psychology at university. A Level Psychology can be combined successfully with many other A Levels. Some of our students are studying mainly science programmes and many others take a more social science route.
THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
The Psychology department has three dedicated teaching rooms which are close to our staff workroom. It is therefore easy to contact a Psychology teacher if you need extra support. All students have access to electronic copies of booklets for each of the topics in A level Psychology and are given a copy of all booklets at the start of the unit.
To facilitate your independent learning, the Psychology department makes good use of interactive online learning resources. All booklets, PowerPoint presentations, past paper materials and journal articles are available on Moodle.
Paper 1 (35% of A Level): Foundations in Psychology
This paper consists of four topics:
- Social psychology
- Cognitive psychology
- Biological psychology
- Learning theories
Students will also acquire knowledge about the foundations of modern psychology.
Paper 2 (35% of A Level): Applications of Psychology
This paper consists of one compulsory module
- Clinical psychology
- Health psychology
In learning these topics, students will acquire knowledge about how our understanding of psychology is applied today.
Paper 3 (30% of A Level): Psychological Skills
This paper consists of
- A synoptic review of studies
Issues and debates
Students will review the psychological skills and research methods covered in the qualification.
HOW THE COURSE IS DELIVERED
Although the course is taught and you will get the opportunity to complete group work in the classroom, you will be expected to carry out independent research and learning. It is worth noting here that very few of the students starting A Level Psychology will have studied Psychology at GCSE level and therefore lessons will reflect this.
The department organises an annual residential trip to London to take learning beyond the classroom and widen students’ psychological thinking. Last year, the trip includes a visit to Bethlem—The Museum of The Mind, phobias workshop at ZSL London Zoo and dinner at the Rainforest Café.
The department also organises talks from Psychology professors. This year, Prof Ben Ambridge from the University of Liverpool gave a talk on everyday psychology. The ‘Brain Day’ is held annually with Dr Guy Sutton which includes the dissection of a sheep’s brain and talks on neuron to brain and mental illness.
Students run a Psychology Society that runs at lunchtimes to explore topics beyond the specification including the workings of the criminal mind.
The department offers lunchtime support sessions as well as lots of additional help in-between lessons by email. There is a successful peer mentoring scheme whereby A Level students work on a one-to-one basis with a first year student.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE LEAD TO?
Having A Level Psychology can open up a world of opportunities in both university choices and career options. If you are considering applying to university to study Psychology then A Level Psychology is very desirable. A level Psychology is also desirable if you would like to study a health science, social science such as criminology, or a sports science. In addition, it is a useful qualification to hold in the world of Business. We believe that Psychology will provide you with a set of critical thinking skills that you will be able to draw upon through your further studying and your life.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREPARE ME FOR THE COURSE?
As you will have probably never studied Psychology at school before, we do recommend that you carry out some research online to find out more about the different approaches you will study. Try the BPS (British Psychological Society) website as a starting point; it provides useful information about possible career choices within psychology. Hopefully, it will demonstrate that A Level Psychology is a very challenging and rigorous course which offers great insights into why people behave the way they do.