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PSYCHOLOGY

A LEVEL

Psychology, it’s inside that matters

To the untrained eye, humans are peculiar creatures.

We might seem irrational. Our habits might confound.

Understanding how we think and behave is the role of psychologists, who try solving the riddle of humanity using different approaches, such as biological, behavioural, cognitive, psychodynamic.

On this course you’ll study in depth the human mind and who we are, and through your new-found knowledge confidently debate questions like:

  • How does our memory work?
  • Why do we forget?
  • Do our experiences before the age of five shape the people we become?
  • Why do we obey authority figures?
  • Is stress harmful?
  • How does the brain work?
  • How do we form and maintain relationships?
  • Why do addictions happen?
  • How can Psychology help us in our daily lives?
  • Do our dreams tell us anything about how our mind works?
  • What is the best way to study human behaviour?

Much of this course is spent assessing the huge body of research into Psychology and neuroscience. We’ll explore this work in the context of real examples to help you gain a thorough understanding of Psychology in action.

As well as learning why others behave the way they do, you’ll gain an important insight into your own daily routines, behaviours and experiences.

We’ll begin your work in Psychology by studying social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology. Then we’ll look at how behaviour is perpetuated by four principal psychological approaches – biological, behavioural, cognitive and psychodynamic.

We’ll research many of the more common psychological disorders affecting our lives, and the different ways of diagnosing them. We’ll also look at how people suffering these abnormalities can be supported.

Research is a hugely important part of this course. You’ll have plenty of time to finesse those skills with the chance to take part in academic psychological research.

And to top up your knowledge you’ll be invited to attend lectures by guest speakers spanning a variety of fields including clinical, forensic and educational Psychology.

From an enrichment standpoint, get excited about joining us for a trip to New York City! We’ll also organise a trip to London, while on-Campus you’ll sate your love of movies with our Psychology Film Club.

LESSON TIME!

Mistaken identity and the fragility of memory are under the spotlight in today’s virtual lesson.

Cognitive psychology is a hugely important field of research – especially in helping those working in the judicial system as they process criminal cases.

Every day we forget things – but there are implications, especially in the context of a court case. We’ll look at false memories, recalling occurrences that didn’t exist. False memories are so common that mistaken eyewitness identification contributed to more than two-thirds of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence.

Memories are not reliable. And leading questions – those phrased in a way to suggest a certain answer (‘what did you enjoy about…’) – can cause witnesses memories to change.

Psychological research suggests leading questions drive either a response-bias explanation – merely influencing, but not changing, how we answer – or the substitution explanation, which changes altogether our answer.

Psychology is critical in helping those upholding the law to make the right decisions. One word in a question can completely change how it is answered.

We won’t give anything away, here – but during this workshop you’ll be tested a few times and the answers may surprise you.

Play Video

What’s next?

Accordion Content

Behavioural psychology has always played a critical role in the success of marketing and advertising world, with experts such as Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland leading the charge (Alchemy is a great insight into this field of study).

You’ll find your Psychology experience useful in many other roles, including:



  • Accountancy
  • Human Resource Management
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Psychometric Testing
  • Counselling
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Nursing
  • Teaching

We are constantly discovering new ways to support mental health. Psychologists have never been in such high demand.

As a psychologist you might specialise in clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, occupational, sports and exercise or health environments.

Alternatively the lessons you’ve learned through Psychology will help you thrive as a:

  • Teacher
  • Therapist
  • Wellbeing practitioner
Paper 1 – Introductory topics in Psychology:

Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology

Paper 2 – Psychology in context:

Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology and Research Methods

Paper 3 – Issues and options in Psychology:

Issues and debates in Psychology, Relationships, Stress and Addiction

 
Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 5 from English, Maths & Science (4s will be considered)

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

3 final exams

Course type:

Linear A-level

Exam board:

AQA

The Psychology department at Xaverian College consists of teachers with a very wide range of experience. A number of them are AQA examiners. Staff are well qualified and the department has a track record of excellent results. A variety of teaching methods are used in order to ensure that all students learn effectively. These include presentations by both staff and students; group and individual work; research assignments; use of the internet; and discussion & debate. We also support students to make a successful transition from GCSE to ‘A’ Level by helping them develop independent learning strategies and by offering additional support outside the classroom.
I chose Xaverian as it has a good reputation and I think it is the best College in Manchester. I’ve particularly enjoyed Psychology because it’s interesting and I have learnt a lot from the course. Being a part of Xaverian has been great and I have really enjoyed my time here.

Danela Kadr, Psychology A Level

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