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  • Social Sciences (Psychology)

    Welcome to the Psychology department

    curriculum Intentions and Aims

    The range of Social Sciences subjects (Law, Sociology, Psychology, Criminology) all have similar learning intentions; for students to understand more about human beings and how we make sense of the world around us; how and when we have personal responsibility for our choices and behaviours; how to live our best lives as individuals and as members of society, and to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons why as citizens we live in the ways we do and have the expectations we do. At its core, all Social Science is about people – how we function as individuals, and how we interact with others – so students develop an enquiring mind as to how they, and the rest of us do this – and how to do it better.

    GCSE Psychology

    GCSE Psychology is a popular choice which follows the updated Edexcel syllabus. Psychology is the study of the human mind, how it functions, and how and why we behave the way we do. Through scientific research, Psychologists explore explanations for human behaviour. At Finham Park, Psychology is part of the wider Social Sciences Faculty, and elements of Psychology are embedded into the PSHRE curriculum.

    Course content

    Paper 1:

    Topic 1: Development – How did you develop?

    Topic 2: Memory – How does your memory work?

    Topic 3: Psychological problems – How would psychological problems affect you?

    Topic 4: The brain and neuropsychology – How does your brain affect you?

    Topic 5: Social influence – How do others affect you?

    The sixth section will contain two extended open-response questions. These questions will focus on debates within psychology and the interrelationships between the core areas of Psychology.

    Paper 2:

    Topic 6: Criminal Psychology – Why do people become criminals?

    Topic 9: Sleep and Dreaming – Why do you need to sleep and dream?

    Topic 11: Research Methods – How do you carry out psychological research?

    A Level Psychology

    Psychology is one of the largest and most popular subjects in our Sixth Form. Students do not need to have studied Psychology before joining the A level. The new AQA syllabus increasingly focuses on all round skills of literacy, numeracy (data)and scientific application – a grade 6 in English language and a 6:6 in Science are needed.

    The A level course looks at a variety of topics, studies, methods and investigations. There are no external exams until Yr13 but we do assess regularly through the course.

    Course Content

    Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology (2hr exam; 33.3% of total)

    • Topic 1- Social Influence
    • Topic 2- Memory
    • Topic 3- Attachment
    • Topic 4 – Psychopathology

    Paper 2: Psychology in context (2hr exam; 33.3% of total)

    • Topic 5 – Approaches
    • Topic 6 – Biopsychology
    • Topic 7- Research Methods

    Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology (2hr exam; 33.3% of total)

    • Topic 8 – Issues and Debates

    Optional topics:

    • Topic 10- Gender
    • Topic 12 – Schizophrenia
    • Topic 16 – Forensic Psychology

    What kind of student is A Level Psychology suitable for?
    Psychology is a good subject to choose if you are interested in people, and if you are willing to examine your own thoughts, feelings and emotions. You will be developing logical skills of analysis and interpretation, and an appreciation of how Psychology can contribute to our multi-cultural society. You should be strongly motivated by the desire to both understand and explore why people behave as they do. In addition, the content is demanding and you will need to be happy with working hard in class and working on your own, as well as being self-motivated to set personal goals and meet deadlines.

     What could I do with a KS5 qualification in this subject?
    Ideal for students who would like to read Psychology at University. Psychology complements subjects such as Biology, Sociology, English Language, Business studies, Politics and Sport. It also adds scientific discipline to Art, Design, History, Foreign Languages, Literature and Music subjects, as well as contrasting well with Mathematics, Economics and Computing.

    In terms of careers and professional opportunities – any area where you will work with others, whether it is in the caring professions, medicine, or in business, Psychology is used in training and will always be useful! There are also plenty of opportunities to work as a Psychologist in education, health, organisations, clinical work, the police force, sport and counselling etc

    Department Staff

    Head of Department Ms S Booker (BA)
      Ms T Miah
      Mr D Ratcliffe (Head of Social Sciences faculty, BA)