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Psychology

Psychology is taught as part of the social science curriculum. In common with other social science subjects, psychology aims to develop in learners, a critical and evaluative approach as we strongly believe that knowing how different people see the world allows our learners to make sense of the world, ask questions of it and know how to change it.

Psychology allows learners to develop an awareness of the complexities of individuals and how this influences all behaviour. By gaining knowledge on the varying perspectives, learners are asked to consider the merits of these perspectives and how they can be challenged. This knowledge will allow learners to understand and explain a range of behaviours and topics and implement ways in which they can be investigated. Through the use of real life examples and educational visits learners will gain an understanding of the importance and application of psychology in the real world. This vast knowledge will allow them to objectively question behaviour at a deeper level, understanding that not everything is as it seems and why?

Psychology has been a popular A level course for many years at Allerton Grange, with many of our learners choosing to study it beyond A level, at university.

Psychology fits well with other social sciences, such as Sociology and Criminology, as well as Humanities, such as Religious Studies and History.

Course content
The course is a 2 Year linear A level course which is formally examined at the end of Year 13. Learners will, however, sit a PPE to determine the suitability to continue to Year 13.

In common with all Social Science subjects, the course will begin with Core Social Science Knowledge around Society, Economics, Politics and Law and History. This will be built on over the course to enhance your understanding of Psychology.

We then move on to:

• Approaches in psychology: looks at the six different approaches to human behaviour. Learners will study key concepts in each of the approaches and key psychologists in each approach.
• Research methods: how do psychologists gather evidence and data to support/refute psychological theory? Learners will look at different methods of data collection as well as how to analyse data to determine statistical significance.
• Social influence: this topic area looks at different types of conformity and obedience. Learners will investigate why people conform and obey, as well as how social change can occur though minority influence.
• Memory: looks at the different models and types of memory. Learners will also study theories of forgetting, as well as researching the accuracy of eye witness testimony and how it can be improved.
• Attachment: learners will learn about the different types and theories of attachment and investigate the impact of separation and deprivation on an individual and on adult relationships.
• Abnormality: this topic covers the three most diagnosed mental health disorders in the UK – phobias, OCD and depression. Learners will look at issues with defining abnormality, as well as explanations and treatments for phobias, OCD and depression
• Issues and debates: Learners will investigate debates in psychology such as determinism and reductionism. They will also study the impact of gender and culture bias on research and theory. Learners will be expected to demonstrate clear links to all the topic areas covered.
• Biopsychology: This topic area looks at the physiology of the body and the impact this can have on behaviour. Learners will be able to explain the fight or flight process during stressful situations as well as investigating the brain and how it can be studied using technology.
• Gender: What is gender? How does gender influence behaviour and choice? Learners will study the biological, cognitive, psychodynamic and socio-cultural explanations of gender. Learners will also examine theories of gender dysphoria.
• Schizophrenia: What is schizophrenia? Learners will investigate the issues around diagnosing schizophrenia, as well as biological and psychological explanations of the disorder. Learners will also examine the different therapies that can be used to treat schizophrenia.
• Forensic psychology: Who commits crime and why? Learners will investigate the different ways in which crime can be defined as well as the role of offender profiling in solving criminal investigations. Learners will also study the different explanations of criminality as well as treatment programs available to offenders.

Revision: In addition to the new topics, we will also spend time in Year 13 revising the topics from Year 12 in order to prepare for the examinations.

There will be 3 examinations at the end of Year 13 which will examine all of the content from Year 12 and 13. Each examination will last 2 hours and will be a combination of short and extended written answers.

Catch up sessions are available EVERY Tuesday and Thursday (Dates subject to change) in the pod. Learners are encouraged to attend these sessions to aid their progress. In some cases, where students are making very slow progress, attendance will be made compulsory.

Useful Links
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology-7181-7182

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