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St Peter's
Catholic School


Miss X Miller

Head of Psychology 

Introduction to the Department

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. You will develop your knowledge of the world around you by looking at a variety of perspectives on behaviour, for example, the development of gender, the process of memory and forgetting and the origins of aggression. In addition to subject-based skills and knowledge, students of psychology also acquire a number of transferable skills e.g. IT literacy, data handling and analysis, independent and team research, report writing and learning to work ethically and professionally with people – all highly valued in a range of fields.

The emphasis of the course is on applying knowledge, understanding and developing the skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking. Those who train in psychology can go on to work in a variety of professions such as forensic, clinical or sport and exercise psychology or work as professional psychologists in the National Health Service, the Civil Service, education and industry. Psychology also provides a very useful basis for a wide range of other careers such as human resources, business and youth work.

Key Stage 5 Information

Three units taken over two years explore topics including: obedience and conformity; the development of human attachments; mental health; brain structure and function; research methods as well as atypical and anti-social behaviours such as schizophrenia and aggression. Students will also be carrying out real life studies allowing for the development of research methods skills and experience ‘psychology in action’.

Unit breakdown and scheme of assessment:

Unit 1 – Social influence, memory, attachment, psychopathology

Unit 2 – Approaches in psychology, biopsychology, research methods

Unit 3 – Issues and debates, typical, atypical and anti-social behaviour

This will be assessed through three, two-hour exams – one for each unit taken at the end of Year 13. Each paper is worth one third of the overall course grade. There are a range of multiple choice, short and longer answer essay style questions.

Extracurricular opportunities:

Psychology students have enjoyed various events including:

• Learning about the treatment of phobias (and research practice) at London Zoo

• Psychology careers conference

• ‘Strong Foundations’ exam preparation workshop for Year 13 students

• Visiting the Freud Museum in London