A Level
Psychology

Course Details

Awarding Body: OCR

Staff Contacts:

Mr C. Wardle (cwardle@quarrydale.notts.sch.uk)

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Key features of the course

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and how this dictates our behaviour from communication and memory to thought and emotion.

Psychology is a social science that studies behaviour through various methodologies such as experiments, observation, self – reports, case studies and correlational studies. As part of unit 1, students will need to be familiar with how to use these methodologies and be able to evaluate why one would be used over another. Students will need to have a firm grasp of basic numeracy from a statistical analysis perspective and be able to conduct inferential statistical testing from given data.

Paper 2 cover a range of popular psychological topics from various psychological approaches including: Social, Cognitive, Developmental, Biological, Individual Differences, Psychodynamic and Behaviourism with topics ranging from helping behaviours to measuring disorders including twenty core pieces of research.

Paper 3 students will cover a broad curriculum based upon three topics of Mental Health, Forensic Psychology and Child Psychology again with various approaches an approximately 20 pieces of evidence.

Throughout students will need to be familiar discussing behaviour through various psychological debates covered within the course.

Finally, students will need to be comfortable conducting their own psychological research from a key brief set by their psychology teacher to enable a better understanding of research methodologies.

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Entry
Requirements:

Minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 4 with at least a grade 6 in English Language and Maths and or/ GCSE Psychology Grade 5 or 6 at discretion of the Head of Department.

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What could this course
lead on to?

Psychology students often go onto to study psychology at university as a discrete discipline or they combine it with other areas of social sciences such as Sociology, Health and Social Care or Law. Some students use their knowledge of psychology to support their careers in the medical profession such as Nursing, Physiotherapy or even Medicine.

Psychology has the key skills of being able to discuss key ideas practiced with providing key evidence to back up your points.

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Future prospects
and careers

The course will support access to degree courses in Psychology and/or Psychological Studies and combined Criminology, Law, Sociology, Forensics, Counselling and Clinical settings.  Possibly leading to one of the career areas listed above and obtaining BPS accreditation.

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What type of student is this
course suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in understanding and explaining the mind and human behaviour through a variety of theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence. Students who opt for psychology are enthusiastic and willing to take on board large amounts of information and are willing to read round the subject independently. Students will need to be express themselves in a written format during the examinations in an academic manner with close attention to literary accuracy and time management.

Psychology complements other subjects such as Sociology, Criminology and Health & Social Care

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Assessment
Structure

It is important to understand the assessment structure of the course. What percent are the units ? Are they internally or externally assessed ? Are they exams or coursework?

Unit 1

  • Research Methods
  • Externally Set 2 hour Examination worth 30% of final grade.

Unit 2

  • Psychological Themes through Core Studies
  • Externally set 2 hour examination worth 35% of final grade

Unit 3

  • Applied Psychology
  • Externally set 2 hour examination worth 35% of final grade.
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