Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Psychology

Head of Social Sciences Department: Miss Ann Murdoch

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour with theories based on relevant, accurate research which form the basis for practical applications that affect our lives in all areas of performance, for example in health care, education, childcare, sport, medicine and the workplace.

Psychology A Level develops skills of numeracy and literacy, and therefore combines well with science and arts/humanities subjects. Mathematical skills make up 10% of the assessment and so a reasonable level of numeracy is required. Various Psychological approaches and perspectives are covered on the course including, but not limited to, social influence, memory, attachment, psychopathology. Students have to use psychological studies from which they need to demonstrate understanding and be able to critically evaluate each studies' purpose and methodologies. They also connect the historical studies to contemporary issues and events, challenging our understanding of people in the modern world.

Students conduct informal psychological investigations including experiments, observations, correlational investigations and the administration of self-reports. They follow research conventions and analyse their results statistically. In the second year, this understanding is developed through a study of applied psychology through studying different topics within Psychology.

We follow the AQA specification. Assessment is through examinations only, including a range of long answer questions. Tuition is classroom-based, although the course includes opportunities for students to design their own practical research studies and debate methods and issues surrounding psychological research.

Extra-curricular opportunities

  • Social Sciences film club
  • An annual volunteering trip to Thailand to work with Thai children who are either orphans, disabled or in a disadvantaged situation.
  • Additional trips are run throughout the year to enhance the curriculum, including Behind Bars (Nov - year 13) and Psychology and Pseudoscience (Nov - year 12).

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

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