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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is all around you and touches on every aspect of your life! Who you are now, how you will be in the future, how you interact with family, friends, and strangers; these are all things that can be explored and better understood with A level psychology. Furthermore, psychology offers a combination of professional, personal and academic skills beyond higher education. Among the MANY advantages of studying Psychology, the main advantages include: -

  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Developing analytical skills and understanding real-world issues through the application of the scientific method
  • Providing excellent job prospects in a variety of areas (both directly and indirectly)

What can it lead to?

A psychology A level enables you to acquire a variety of transferable skills. These include numeracy, argument synthesis, data analysis, time management, independent research, team work, report writing, presentation skills, interpersonal and communication skills, plus an evolved ability to work ethically and professionally with people. All skills are highly valued in a range of employment fields.

As a graduate, your knowledge of all areas of psychology makes you eligible for entry into any field typically open to Psychology graduates, or for further graduate training which is required for graduates wishing to work as a chartered professional Psychologist.

  • Direct career opportunity areas include: - Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuropsychology, Occupational Psychology, Research and Academic & Forensic Psychology, Sports and Exercise Psychology
  • Indirect career opportunity areas include: - Career advising, human resources, social work, market research and many more!

For a complete breakdown of these areas and jobs they offer have a look at this BPS leaflet: -

http://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/Public%20files/your_journey_jan_2014_web.pdf

How is the course organised?

We follow the Edexcel exam board:

Paper 1

Paper 2

Social & Cognitive psychology

Biological & Learning psychology

 

Paper 1

Paper 2

Paper 3

All four topics + Issues and Debates

Clinical Psychology plus one other topic from (Clinical, Child, or Health Psychology)

Methods and synoptic review of studies and issues and debates

How is the course assessed?

External: -

A Level – 3 written exams in June, all 2 hour papers – Paper 1 and 2 are 35% of the A level, and Paper 3 is 30%

All consist of short answer questions and extended essays covering the core themes from the syllabus.

Internal: –

Exam assessed piece of work every fortnight under exam conditions

Structured feedback sheets with student reflection and teacher feedback are used for assignments

Some reference to ‘higher grade’ work.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

  • College entry requirements as well as a grade 5/6 (B), or above in GCSE Maths, English and Double Science Award (Biology is preferable)
  • Good numeracy and statistical skills are beneficial. Interest in reading, current issues and key topics in society
  • Some comfort/ability to learn advanced biological and statistical concepts, theories and terms.

To find out whether psychology may be right for you, click on the YouTube link below – these are the kind of concepts you will be required to learn and understand in psychology:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmD0LBdAvlE&index=1&list=PLbKSbFnKYVY01ztNtTS6MntPZtq_tJgrc   

Specification and sample exam materials from Edexcel can be found here - http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/psychology-2008.html

Who are the teachers?

The department is led by Mr M Gwanzura, a graduate in Psychology from South Africa with several post graduate qualifications including Teaching Psychology as a Science form the National Science Institute, and Abnormal psychology (with emphasis on Schizophrenia) and research principles. He is currently in his 10th year of service.

The department also welcomes Ms A Delgardo.

What do students say about the course?

Psychology was very significant in my formative years when I had just begun putting the world into context. It gave me the tools to "think out of the box”

Ist year Medical resident

The psychology course at St Charles is fantastic. You will be taught by passionate and inspiring teachers who will always put your best interests at heart.

Jason - Second Year Occupational Therapy Student at the University of Bradford.

What I remember most fondly about Mr Gwanzura's class was the expectation to achieve.  An environment is created where you are encouraged to challenge yourself, question ideas and criticise theories; these lessons are invaluable. 

Tia - Medical student at Southampton University and will be starting an intercalated Bachelor’s degree in physiology at King's College London in September 2015. 

At first, when I started studying psychology I didn't think it would apply to any areas of molecular sciences. However throughout my degree, I found that it is very beneficial especially when it came to neuroscience.

George - Biochemist