Psychology

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour; uncovering what makes humans think and behave the way we do, and what makes us unique. Psychology involves understanding many psychological approaches which explain a diverse range of everyday behaviour, and how these different approaches contrast with one another. This makes psychology one of the most relevant subjects you are likely to study at A level.

During the course you will explore topics such as aggression, phobias and criminality, as well as conduct your own research practicals in these areas. You will study how psychological knowledge has changed over time and how the rise of technology has encouraged more rigorous scientific research.

Psychology presents a range of topics that complement both science, literature and arts; from cognitive neuroscience to the consideration of ethical and moral issues in psychology. The first year of study builds the foundations of your knowledge of psychology and the second year of the course encourages application of your knowledge to investigating clinical and criminological psychology; understanding abnormal and criminal behaviour, and the ways we go about treating these.

Throughout the course you will develop methodological skills that enable you to critically unpick psychological research, and gain essential mathematical skills involving data analysis and probability which help guide the interpretation of research findings.

We aim to encourage critical thinking skills, statistical numeracy, and essay writing skills that enable psychology students to write cogently and analytically. These skills are desirable for further study in university and increase employability.

Psychology is currently taught to Sixth Form boys and girls at Monmouth School for Girls.

Head of Department: Mrs K Smith

Course content

Board: Edexcel   A level Syllabus Code: 9PS0

Foundations of psychology (Year 1) Applications of psychology (Year 2)
Social psychology – how others influence our behaviour Clinical psychology –schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa.
Cognitive psychology – the human memory system Criminological psychology – criminality and the psychology of the courtroom.
Learning theories – the acquisition of phobias Psychological skills
Biological psychology – neuroscience and cause of aggression.  

Method of assessment

Paper 1 – Foundations in psychology: 2 hours.  90 marks (33% of A-level)

Asking a range of short answer and essay questions (8-12 marks)

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Paper 2 –Applications of psychology: 2 hours.  90 marks (33% of A level)

Asking a range of short answer and essay questions (8-20 marks)

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Paper 3 – Psychological skills: 2 hours.  90 marks (33% of A level)

Asking a range of short answer and essay questions (8-20 marks)

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