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Psychology

Psychology is the science of behaviour and experience. Studying behaviour involves focusing on what humans actually do. Behaviour includes thinking, remembering and forgetting, growing up, being kind or aggressive, obeying or disobeying orders and being a parent. In studying experience, psychologists are interested in why humans behave as they do. All this is achieved by looking at scientific evidence and studies. It also involves research that aids supporting or refuting proposed psychological theories.

The nature of the curriculum explains behaviour in five different approaches, giving students a range of theories to explain human behaviour.

St Andrew's students are able to study Psychology at A level and no previous knowledge of Psychology is required.

Which examination board is used?

We follow the Edexcel Specification

What does the course involve?

There are four modules in the course:

Unit 1: Social and Cognitive Psychology is divided into two sections, Social Psychology: obedience and prejudice and Cognitive Psychology: memory and forgetting.

Unit 2: Understanding the Individual develops students' understanding of psychological individual difference. This section is divided into three sections:

  • Psychodynamic approach
  • Biological Approach
  • Learning Approach

Unit 3: Applications of Psychology enables students to study how psychology can be applied to the real world. Students must select two of the following four applications:

  • Criminological psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Sport psychology

Unit 4: How Psychology Works allows students to develop an understanding of how to use theories and evidence from different areas of psychology and apply them to issues. The first two modules form the AS course and the last two modules complete the A2 course.

The modules are assessed through a combination of short answer questions and extended writing. A practical approach is encouraged throughout the course and students are expected to carry out investigations both individually and in a group.