Psychology is a fascinating subject offering insights into many current issues and concerns of relevance to young people now and in the future.
Psychology attempts to explain why it is we do the sorts of things that we do. It involves the scientific study of people and animals, looking at their behaviour, their feelings, their motivations and experiences.
Have you ever asked yourself the any of the following questions:
Why do we sleep?
How reliable is memory?
What counts as ‘normal’ behaviour?
What is stress?
If so, you are asking the same sort of questions that psychologists have been trying to answer, usually by conducting research. Psychologists gather evidence to test their theories, using a range of methods, including experiments, interviews, case studies, questionnaires and observations. You will discover what these methods entail by trying them for yourself on a variety of small research projects, relevant to the topics you have chosen to study.
An A-level in Psychology provides you with transferable skills that can be applied to many different careers – in fact just about any career that involves working with people. It makes a great stand-alone subject at A-level but also provides the perfect grounding for the future study of Psychology at university level.
Topics covered in the first year include Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Approaches in psychology and Research methods. During the second year there will be a choice of additional subjects from relationships, gender, cognition and development; to schizophrenia, eating behaviour and stress; and aggression, forensic psychology and addiction.
You are not expected to have studied psychology previously to take the A-level but a curiosity about people and an interest in understanding why we behave the way we do are essential. Add an enthusiasm to engage in discussion and a willingness to keep up with the required reading and you will be on track for success and, who knows, perhaps a future as a clinical or forensic psychologist?