Psychology

If you have any further enquiries, please email Mr Adam Lyons, Head of Psychology, at lyonsa@salesiancollege.com

Why study Psychology?

Psychology offers important insights into human behaviour which are of interest not only in our own lives but are also highly relevant for many careers, including medicine, management and teaching.

Psychology goes beyond ‘common sense’ understandings and endeavours to be objective and scientific in studying human behaviour.

What does the study of Psychology involve?

A critical approach is taken to studying a wide range of topics from understanding how memory works (or doesn’t), why we conform, what happens when stress affects us, to defining and explaining abnormal behaviour. There is no coursework for Psychology, instead candidates are given the opportunity to conduct their own investigations to provide them with practical experience of research methods.

Why at Salesian College?

At Salesian College our A Level groups are small and students therefore receive a good deal of individual help and tuition. Our results over the whole A Level range speak for themselves. You will also get the opportunity to visit the Psychology department at Surrey University where you can experience mini lectures and practical experiments.

What does the course involve?

The content of the Psychology A Level offers a very broad experience of approaches, theories and methodologies and this is reflected in the topics which are studied. The AQA course requires that students do more than just learn this content; examination questions also involve applying this knowledge to novel situations.

A LEVEL - 1st Year
Topics will include:

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology & Research Methods

A LEVEL - 2nd Year
Issues and debates in Psychology plus the following three topics:

  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Addiction

Skills required

The ability to read and assimilate information, appreciate the many, often conflicting approaches within Psychology, analyse the evidence and create a reasoned argument in writing.

To apply knowledge of different approaches and theories to real-life phenomena and to use research methodology to carry out student-led research studies. As the biggest component of the course is research methods, students will be expected to be comfortable with the scientific terminology used when designing investigations, e.g. Hypotheses.

What is expected from Psychology students?

As there is no GCSE offered in Psychology, you will need to have one science at GCSE in which you have attained at least a grade 6. This is because of the heavy emphasis on research methodology in the course, particularly the scientific method. You will be required to describe the course content accurately and in detail, to assimilate new terminology, read and evaluate psychological research, and be rigorous in your application of various research techniques.

The proposed changes to the Psychology A Level will require a higher level of understanding of mathematics, ideally a grade 6 at GCSE.

What can an A Level in Psychology lead to?

Psychology is pertinent for many degrees and is an attractive qualification to employers. Students will have learnt valuable skills; they will be able to express themselves clearly in writing and critically evaluate evidence and research literature.

Possible careers:

  • Educational psychology
  • Sports psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Organisational psychology