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Psychology

The psychology department at Radnor House Sevenoaks follows the AQA psychology syllabus.

This course encourages students to:

  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills
  • Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society

This two year course is made up of topics covering a range of psychological areas of study. Cognitive Psychology looks at how the brain may be organised to give us our memory. Students also focus upon developmental Psychology, learning about how babies attach to their caregivers and the outcome of deprivation. Social Psychology offers students the opportunity to reflect on the influences of other people and the environment around us, exploring how and why people obey and conform.

Students will gain an insight into psychological research, with opportunities to undertake your own research. Students will study the approaches in Psychology and how each one explains human behaviour. There’s an emphasis on the Biological nature of the human mind and behaviour in the Biopsychology section of this unit. Issues and debates in Psychology shows students how to question psychological theory and research through specific issues and debates in psychology. The issues are ethics, gender bias and cultural relativism.The debates are: free will-determinism, nature-nurture, holism-reductionism and idiographic-nomothetic.

In Gender, students learn about how we acquire our gender behaviour and what happens in atypical development. In the topic of Schizophrenia students study the clinical characteristics, the explanation and treatment of the disorder. The final topic is Forensic Psychology which covers offender profiling, explaining why people offend and dealing with offending behaviour.

Requirements

An interest in human behaviour is essential and the ability to think openly and critically about issues is important. As the subject is a science an interest in science is important, though as the course structure is very systematic, a strong science background, though beneficial, is not essential.

Progression

Psychology A level enables students to develop a number of key skills, particularly their ability to think openly and deeply about issues and to enhance their skills of critical evaluation. As such it is a course which serves as a good foundation for a very great number of careers and university courses. There are, of course opportunities to specialise in psychology at university and to move on to specific psychology related careers, such as therapy, working with individuals with disabilities, counselling, teaching, management, sport psychology, health psychology, educational psychology and criminology to name a few.

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