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Subject Area:
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: OCR
Syllabus No:

What do I need to study this course?

You will need a grade 5 or above in GCSE English or GCSE Maths, and a grade 44 in GCSE Combined Science.

What will I study?

This subject is very scientific in nature and will particularly appeal to those students who have an analytic and enquiring mind. You will study various psychological theories that help to shed light on the reasons we think and behave in the way that we do. A level Psychology gives a thorough grounding in psychological research and helps you to understand what psychologists do. You will conduct at least four different types of psychological investigation.

Through a number of landmark studies you will explore various themes in psychology and the impact they have had on the world we live in today. Studies are on a range of topics including brain plasticity, obedience and disobedience, understanding disorders, the development of moral thinking and memory.

Component 1: Research Methods. This component is intended to introduce and develop a knowledge and understanding of the process of planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques.

Component 2: Psychological Themes through Core Studies. This component focuses on some of the central areas of investigation in psychology. For each key theme, students are presented with both a classic and a contemporary study.

Component 3: Applied Psychology. This will enable you to see how psychological research impacts the real world, through looking at issues in mental health, criminal psychology and child psychology.

  • Issues in Mental Health: you will examine the history of mental illness, diagnosis, theories, and treatments of disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • Child Psychology: you will examine the development of perception, intelligence, risk taking in adolescents, attachments and advertising.
  • Criminal Psychology: you will examine the causes of criminal behaviour, psychology of the courtroom, biases in forensic evidence, and punishments and treatments used with offenders.
  • Methodological Issues and Debates will run throughout the component including nature/nurture, freewill/determinism, reductionism/holism, individual/situational explanations, usefulness of research, ethical considerations, conducting socially sensitive research, and psychology as a science.

What next?

You will develop many employability skills through A level Psychology, such as team working, problem solving, data analysis, presentation skills, and how to carry out research. Psychology can lead to a wide variety of careers including clinical psychology, counselling, educational psychology, forensic psychology, and occupational psychology. It is a useful subject for any career involving people, and is studied as part of other university courses, such as Education, Sport Studies, Business Studies, Medicine, Nursing, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Media Studies. Psychology can also be used as a science subject for entry to many degrees, including medicine.

Did you know?

 There are more than 400 distinct phobias recognised by psychologists