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Course Code: SFAPY011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Unlock the mysteries of human behaviour with our A Level Psychology course. 

This comprehensive program introduces students to key concepts in psychology, such as learning, development, and social influence. By examining psychological theories and conducting experiments, students gain a deeper understanding of the mind.

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour, in particular how and why people behave in certain ways. A successful Psychology student has an appetite for understanding how scientific principles can be applied to human behaviour so if you're interested in people and inquisitive about their behaviour, this is the subject for you.

You will study a number of different topics related to everyday behaviour from a variety of viewpoints including biological, evolutionary and psychological approaches. You will learn how not only genes and biochemical process influence your behaviour, but also parents and culture.

Alongside psychological concepts and theories you will develop desirable transferable skills such as communication, team working and relationship building, whilst gaining deeper understanding in data collection, statistical analysis and report writing.

The course includes a wide variety of learning experiences such as lectures, one to one tutorials, practical work, group work, discussions/debates and personal research when preparing for assessment. 

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices.

Assessment is comprised of three examinations at the end of two years’ study. Progression to year two will be dependant on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

Paper 1: Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology

You will learn about issues such as why people conform or give in to group pressure. You will also look at why humans obey orders, even those that will inflict harm on others. This unit considers how memory works, why we forget certain things and whether eye witness accounts of crimes can be trusted. Human attachment is also investigated including the reasons why we attach to our parent or caregiver. Lastly you will look at what is abnormal behaviour, what causes it and how is it treated?

Paper 2 : Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods

In this unit you will learn about different psychologists’ views on human behaviour, their arguments and debates. Biopsychology considers the role our biology plays in influencing our behaviour. You will consider how the brain transmits messages and how we study the brain in a scientific way.

You will also look at the body’s natural biological rhythms and their effect on our lives, and learn how to investigate human behaviour in a scientific way. Half of this paper is research methods e.g., statistics & experimental designs.

Paper 3 : Cognition & Development, Schizophrenia, Forensic Psychology, Issues and Debates

In Cognition, you will consider how children develop intellectually. You will consider the symptoms and types of schizophrenia, its cause and possible treatments. In forensic psychology you will consider different approaches to offender profiling and offender behaviour including theories as to how to deal with offender behaviour. Issues and debates are also considered, for example, is our gender biologically created or environmentally made.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Cassie McClelland, Head of Psychology, by emailing: cassie.mcclelland@nscg.ac.uk

Studying Psychology provides an excellent general qualification for many careers and you will be able to use it to progress to Higher Education. Universities recognise the research skills and the understanding of human behaviour that a psychology qualification brings.

Psychology forms part of a large number of degree courses including social work, teaching, criminal justice, business studies, medicine and many more and can also be classed as a fourth science for those wishing to study medicine, dentistry and veterinary science.

There are a wide range of undergraduate degrees available in Psychology both locally and further afield. Both Staffordshire and Keele University offer lots of different psychology degree courses. It can also be combined with many other subjects, for example Criminology and Health. The sorts of jobs psychology graduates go on to do are wide ranging including teaching, social work, work within the National Health Service, counselling and many more.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group, please contact Charlotte Robertson on 01782 254141 or email charlotte.robertson@nscg.ac.uk.

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit nscg.ac.uk/finance

97%

pass rate

72%

achieved A*-C in 2023

PROSPECTUS 21 5

What else do I need to know?

As part of your course in Psychology you will be offered the chance to go on several educational visits including a trip to New York, which includes many new cultural experiences including a tour of the United Nations. There is also an overnight visit to London and a trip to Alton Towers where you get to conduct a piece of research.

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here