Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. It is both a flourishing academic discipline and a vital professional practice.

Psychology combines well with other subjects in preparation for a diverse range of future careers from medicine to law. Employers value a workforce capable of independent thought; Psychology encourages pupils to have the confidence to criticise established theoretical explanations and to assess the quality of supporting research for its credibility, allowing pupils to demonstrate the ability to utilise scientific methodology in the context of Psychology and to develop their critical thinking skills.

Psychology is a useful addition to many pupils' A level portfolio. It requires both essay writing skills and the evaluation of scientific evidence, including the analysis of statistical data.

The course

In September 2015, Psychology courses changed to linear qualifications. Linear means that students will sit all of the A Level examinations at the end of their two year A Level course.

In year one, students learn about; social influence, memory, attachment, approaches in psychology, psychopathology and research methods in psychology.

Year two will build on those topics studied in year one. Also covered will be the additional topic of issues and debates in psychology and three topics that will be determined by the teacher. These three topics will be: one from relationships, gender and cognition & development; one from schizophrenia, eating behaviour and stress and one from aggression, forensic psychology and addiction.

At each level the course contains a high degree of practical work but this will not count towards the final grade. There is no coursework element. The whole course is assessed through examination at the end of the two year A-Level.

The staff

Miss Burden has been teaching Psychology for fifteen years and she has a particular interest in Atypical Psychology; especially the aetiology of eating disorders in children.

Notable successes in the department have been:

2011    Cristina Paca left to study Psychology at Cambridge University. She achieved the highest A level results in Great Britain in her Psychology A Level examinations.

2012    Hannah Clifton left to study Psychology at Bath University

2013    Ashley Deveson left to study Psychology at Exeter University

Beyond the syllabus

We offer a Psychology Club activity during period six in which we watch and psychologically critique films/ television programmes.

Trips are taken to lectures when they are deemed appropriate. Last year we took the Lower Sixth Form students to a series of lectures at Cambridge University.

Individual tuition is provided if requested by the student or parent or if it is deemed necessary by teaching staff.

Help is always available and holiday revision sessions are frequently provided.

Miss Lucy Burden
Head of Department

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