Psychology is the most rewarding and relevant subject students can study at A Level and beyond – what could be more important than the scientific study of human behaviour? Wherever they work, whatever they do in their life, this discipline gives students the most invaluable insight into the motivations of themselves and others. The study of Psychology teaches skills that they will transfer into all walks of life – skills such as analysing data, evaluating research evidence, writing reports, designing and implementing independent research, gathering data. In the Psychology department we guarantee to challenge students’ preconceptions, deepen their understanding of human behaviour and open their eyes to the fundamental importance of careful, scientific study of the origins of both typical and atypical behaviour.
“I shall miss your lessons immensely, (yes even on Monday afternoon!). You always seem to make every topic jump into life”Sixth Form Student
The Psychology department supports its A Level students in a variety of ways. Department trips include the British Psychology Society London Lectures, court visits, and the trip to the Royal Bethlem Hospital. In addition there are lectures given by visiting specialists and the annual Brain Day. Psychology students enter a number of essay competitions including the Corpus Christi Oxford Science Essay Competition and the Cambridge Psychology Essay Competition. The Psychology Club challenges students to research topics outside the syllabus and present these to their peers
We started teaching the new Edexcel Psychology A Level course in September 2015. The A Level consists of three papers. Paper 1 focuses on cognitive, social and biological psychology and learning theories. Topics covered include investigation into obedience, prejudice, memory, eyewitness testimony, brain and behaviour, conditioning and social learning. Students study issues surrounding research methods, they conduct practical investigations for each approach, developing data analysis skills in the process. Support for students approaching A level exams is extensive, ranging from departmental clinics, group revision to one-to-one support.
“I have really enjoyed the lessons, particularly looking at child psychology and attachment, and I am sure that what I have learnt will be very useful for my Law degree, and later on in life.”Sixth Form Student
In Paper 2, students study Clinical and Criminological Psychology, in which they see closely how Psychology can be applied to the real world. Clinical Psychology focuses on diagnosis of mental disorders such as Schizophrenia, anorexia, depression, OCD and investigates causes and treatments for these. Criminological Psychology investigates different explanations of the causes of crime and assesses ways of treating these. Both these topics are related to vocational contexts in which a Psychology graduate may operate. The final paper tests Psychological skills and students’ ability to draw on other parts of the course in order to understand conceptual and methodological issues as well as confidently evaluating key debates such as ethical implications in the treatment of human and non-human participants and the relative roles of nature and nurture in explaining human behaviour.