About the Course
Psychology is the study of human behaviour, and aims to explain how we develop and predict patterns of behaviour by using scientific observation and experimentation.
During this A Level course you will learn about how how our behaviour is influenced by other people and external stimuli such as stress, how psychology is employed by the media and psycho pathology. You'll also study and explore different research methods and how to apply these to psychological experiments.
Although Psychology is technically considered a science related subject, is is an excellent accompanying subject to almost any combination of A Levels. Studied in conjunction with other science subjects (Biology or Chemistry) it can lead to careers in Clinical Psychology or research. It can also provide a good balance to other subjects; for example, taken alongside Media Studies or Health & Social Care/Sociology an understanding of psychology will be beneficial for careers in criminal psychology/policing or the health/social care industries.
The skills you will learn in psychology are highly transferable and will likely benefit you in higher education and employment, even if you don't choose to study Psychology as your main subject or work in the industry. For instance, you'll develop critical reasoning skills (essential for any degree course), learn to analyse and interpret data, and how to put across your point of view fluently.
The first year offers a broad range of topics including a study of stress, abnormality and how others influence our behaviour. There is also a research component which examines the methods Psychologists use to study human behaviour.
In year two, there are a range of topic based options which bring together explanations from different approaches which engages students with issues and debates within contemporary psychology. The topics include:
- An examination of relationships
- Psychology of the mass media
- Psycho pathology
- Eating behaviour/disorders and schizophrenia
- Research unit
To study 3 A Levels
5+ GCSEs grades 9-4 in different subjects, including English Language and Maths at a minimum of grade 4.
To study 4 A Levels
6+ GCSEs grades 9-6 in different subjects, including English Language and Maths at a minimum of grade 6.
Additional Requirements for Psychology
- 9-5 in English Language
- 9-5 in Maths
- 9-5 in at least one science GCSE
The Sheffield Sixth Form welcomes students who have studied vocational qualifications. However, the minimum entry requirements for the A Level programme, as shown above, must be GCSEs.
Examinations at the end of the first year for AS Level and the end of the second year (3 exams) for the full A Level qualification.
Where does this Lead
Most A Level students go on to university, where Psychology has become a very popular subject with strong links to the other social sciences. As it is also considered a science many students opt for Psychology as a third or fourth science in preparation for Medicine, Veterinary Science, Forensic Science and Sport Science.
Some students also progress on to study Law or Criminology.
Psychology is beneficial in careers that involve working with people, such as Marketing or Advertising, where an insight into understanding why people behave the way they do is useful. Psychology is also an essential part of some teacher training.
Tell Me More
Will this subject suit me?
This A Level is designed to develop skills of analysis and evaluation through an examination of arguments and evidence put forward by psychologists. You are expected to be interested in human behaviour and the world you live in. The ideal student would enjoy discussion, reading about new ideas and challenging assumptions.
Good numeracy skills are required due to the science/mathematical nature of the subject.
Personal Study Time
A Level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons. Homework will be set regularly but students are expected to undertake self-directed research as well.