Why choose Psychology?
A fascinating subject with a rigorous and scientific approach.
Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and experience. This stimulating subject combines fascinating content with a rigorous and scientific approach to investigation. It has recently undergone a huge growth in popularity, both as a choice for A level and undergraduate students. The course aims to develop both an academic understanding of the subject and an appreciation of its impact on people’s daily lives.
Psychology A level develops your ability to formulate an argument by presenting and critically evaluating research evidence. Accurate and concise writing is important in answering short structured questions and longer essay style questions. There is no coursework, but an important element of the course is practical: designing and carrying out research, reporting findings and analysing data. This provides good opportunities to develop IT and number skills. Lunchtime workshops and a peer mentoring scheme provide further opportunities to further your understanding. There is a student-run Psychology Society which organises lunchtime talks by visiting speakers and shows videos of programmes of psychological interest. You will have the opportunity to take part in university research and to attend conferences consisting of lectures by academic and practising psychologists.
A level Psychology is a very useful (although not essential) basis for degree level study in the subject. Many of our students go on to study psychology at university. Psychology is a well-respected degree for a range of occupations which require graduate status, and also opens up opportunities to train as a chartered psychologist, for example as a clinical, criminological or counselling psychologist. For a psychology degree some universities, especially the more competitive ones, prefer students who have studied two ‘science’ subjects, in this case meaning psychology, mathematics, biology, physics or chemistry. However, many universities do not operate this policy, and for these institutions a broader spectrum of subjects is acceptable.
All units are assessed by examinations consisting of structured and/or essay questions.
“Psychology is a great subject that combines mathematical ability and writing skills, meaning it compliments subjects like Maths and Science but also English and Sociology. The teachers are enthusiastic and always happy to answer any questions on the topic we are studying or on general psychology.”
How can I find out more?
- If you want to read more about the subject before applying, look at the text-book you will use in Year 12: ‘AQA Psychology for A Level Year 1 & AS’ by Flanagan et al. (ISBN 9781908682406).
- There is also lots of information on the Internet: a good starting point is the BBC’s site (search for ‘BBC psychology’).
- Keep an eye out too for TV programmes about Psychology - there are often programmes on topics such as sleep, mental disorder and child development.