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Psychology: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 5 or above in GCSE English and Grade 4 or above in GCSE Mathematics.

 

A fascinating exploration of our brains and behaviour

Our psychology department is very well-established, has a stable set of supportive staff and is headed by a highly experienced leader who also runs the network group for psychology teachers in South Yorkshire and parts of Derbyshire. This allows us to provide first class provision to all our students.

In terms of value-added Silverdale’s psychology department is in the top 10% of schools offering this subject. This means our students are very likely to get their target grade with us. We always have a high number of students getting A*, A and B grades; in 2016 this was 65% and in 2017 this was 63%. Previous students have featured in the top ten of all candidates in the country!

We are a friendly department and student feedback is extremely positive. We offer weekly mentoring sessions for Year 12 and exam revision support sessions for Year 13.

Psychology is very useful and works particularly well with biology, sociology, english language, PE and chemistry. Ten percent of the marks at A-level are for mathematical and statistical skills.

 

The course

Psychology is a very broad and fascinating subject, which involves the scientific study of the human brain and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context. There are many different types of psychologists from cognitive to behavioural. As well as being interesting and a good way of getting a science A-level to help you progress in a science career, it has many practical benefits for your own personal life. For example, it is really useful to learn how your memory works and how children make attachments, and how to promote your own sense of wellbeing and mental health.

The broad topics covered are:

  • Social Influence, memory, attachment and abnormal psychology.
  • Approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods.
  • Gender, aggression, schizophrenia and issues and debates.

 

Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • An annual reading competition, to help all of our students to improve their grammar and to widen their vocabulary.
  • A trip to a regional conference updating students on recent developments and exam technique.
  • Involvement in research projects with both local universities.
  • An annual Psychology Bake Off!

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Progression

Psychology is a suitable course for a wide range of careers which involve working with people, as well as for progression on to higher education. Possible career options include forensic psychology, health psychology, research, neuropsychology and educational psychology as well as occupational psychology and as a pathway into teaching and social work. Particularly exciting areas for psychology graduates to explore are the developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.