Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. Research involves investigating attitudes, experiences, perceptions, social norms, values, beliefs, and cultural differences.
The different disciplines of psychology are extremely wide-ranging. They include:
- Clinical psychology
- Cognitive psychology: memory
- Developmental psychology
- Evolutionary psychology
- Forensic psychology
- Health psychology
- Neuroscience and neuropsychology
- Occupational psychology
- Social psychology
The Psychology department aims:
- To use a variety of teaching methods and resources to allow all students to access the topics studied and to experience success and enjoyment in learning Psychology.
- To foster awareness of the implications of psychological theories for the individual, the community and the environment.
- Students are encouraged to develop informed opinions and reasoned arguments, as well as recognising the strengths and limitations of psychological theories and approaches to human behaviour.
This course encourages candidates to:
- Study psychological theories, research, terminology, concepts and methods.
- Develop skills of analysis, interpretation and evaluation.
- Design and report psychological investigations and analyse and interpret data.
- Develop an understanding of ethical issues, including the ethical implications of psychological research.
An interest in human behaviour and how the mind works is a good starting point
Students should be able to:
- Read fluently and be able to digest and summarise material well
- Write clearly and articulately
- Analyse strengths and weaknesses of theories and experimental studies
- Think creatively in order to design and/or carry out their own studies into human behaviour
- Work independently
- Complementary Subjects
- Psychology complements a wide range of subjects including Biology, Philosophy and Ethics, and Sociology. It also works well with other courses that develop analytical skills in written work, such as English Literature. It is useful in careers in Medicine, Law, Politics, Science, Business, Counselling and Teaching.
Key Stage 5
The A-Level consists of 3 modules with a variety of sub-topics:
Paper 1: Attachment; Social Influence; Psychopathology; Memory
Paper 2: Approaches; Biopsychology; Research Methods
Paper 3: Issues and Debates; Forensic Psychology; Cognition & Development; Schizophrenia
Further detail on the different topics can be found on the AQA website:
Students’ knowledge is assessed regularly during the ‘A’ level course through discussions and through written questions, including short answer questions, worksheets, end of unit tests and extended writing tasks.
Assessment for ‘A’ Level is through examination only, although students will have the opportunity to carry out psychological research throughout the course. All three ‘A’ Level examination papers are taken at the end of Year 2.
Home learning will consist of regularly set written tasks. In addition you will be set preparation reading and will be expected to review your notes between lessons.
One extended writing piece (8-mark, 12-mark, or 16-mark question) will be set every two weeks.
Stretch & Challenge
Students are stretched and challenged in the classroom through a variety of activities. Students are encouraged and supported to develop critical thinking skills through analysis and discussion and these skills can be applied in a wide number of settings.
Students are also encouraged to explore Psychology beyond the classroom: the A Level Psychology website, constructed by the Psychology Department at Beaumont, provides links to relevant research articles, TV programmes, TED talks and news stories which students can use to further their knowledge and understanding of Psychology. This can be accessed, with a Beaumont School login, here.
Where can Psychology take you?
The study of Psychology has many transferable skills that can be applied to a number of careers:
- Mental Health Services
- Education/Educational Psychology
- Criminal Justice/Forensic Psychology
- Social Work
- Health Service
- Business/Occupational Psychology
- Science/Human science
- Human Resources
- Advertising and Sales
- Aid Agencies
The British Psychological Society (BPS) website:
The BPS website also has a wealth of information on potential careers in Psychology: