The course takes a linear approach and is therefore studied over two years. It consists of three papers that all contribute to our understanding of the world in which we live.
There are two papers covered in Year 1, paper 1 is introductory topics in Psychology and aims to introduce students to the key concepts of Psychology covering social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology. Students will learn concepts with Psychology examining why we conform and obey, how our memory works and why people forget. There will be a focus on eyewitness testimony looking at the role of anxiety and leading questions. Students will learn how we make attachments and how these attachments can be affected. The notion of normal versus abnormality will be debated, looking at the different approaches in Psychology that attempt to explain this. Alongside all of this, students will develop an awareness of research methods and how psychologists use this in a practical way.
There are five main topics to be covered in Year 2; issues and debates, biopsychology, relationships, schizophrenia and forensic psychology. Students will cover the debates that occur within psychology and learn how to apply these in an evaluative way. Biopsychology will require a scientific overview of the brain, looking at how neurons and neurotransmitters work, alongside the central nervous system and sleep patterns. Within the topic of relationships, students will explore why we form relationships and who with, looking at mate selection and self-disclosure. We will also examine virtual relationships and the role of social media, alongside parasocial relationships which examines our obsession with celebrities and their relationships. In the topic of schizophrenia we will look at diagnosis and classification, as well as the impact on society. Finally, students will explore the notion of crime and the issues psychologists have with criminal profiling. Students will also study custodial sentences and the psychological effects this can have on individuals.
5 GCSE's at 5 or above. A 5 in English is required. Due to the new changes that have been introduced by the government, Psychology papers must now assess mathematical ability and this accounts for 10% of the paper, therefore a minimum of a 5 in Maths is required. A 5 in Science is also advised due to the scientific nature of the course.