Psychology is the scientific study of thought, emotion and behaviour.  Students choosing to study Psychology are usually driven by a curiosity to understand what drives human behaviour and how the mind works.

Psychology is divided into many schools of thought, including cognitive aspects (thought processes) to evolutionary perspectives (inherited genetic dispositions). This makes for a rich landscape of views and students must be able to employ critical thinking to engage with the many dimensions and explanations that research offers. In Year 12 you will study Social Influence, Memory, Attachment , Approaches in Psychology, Psychopathology and Research Methods.

Psychology uses the scientific method, so students will learn research methods specific to the subject. This not only equips students with the skills necessary to interpret data and findings of published studies, but prepares students who wish to pursue Experimental Psychology as a degree subject. As with any science, this involves an element of mathematics. In Year 13 you will study Biopsychology, Issues and Debates in Psychology and options from a choice of topics such as relationships, schizophrenia, forensic psychology and aggression.

Examination board: AQA

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What skills will I learn?

Psychology students develop transferable skills such as analytical thinking, communication, problem solving, numeracy, independent learning and the ability to work in teams.

Career value

Psychology is offered at most universities (including Oxbridge and Russell Group), and since it is so popular, new courses are being offered all the time. For example, Psychology is now offered as a joint honours degree with many other topics (from the more traditional Psychology & Biology, to Psychology & English Literature or Psychology & Criminology).

Employers are keen to hire students with a Psychology qualification because of the understanding of human behaviour that it cultivates, as well as clarity of thought and writing skills.

There are a huge range of potential careers in psychology, however to become  a ‘psychologist’ requires a degree and usually a post graduate qualification. Areas of work within psychology include; Clinical psychology, Sports psychology, Occupational psychology, Educational psychology, counselling psychology, and many more (see the BPS website for details below). However there are a large range of careers where psychology is a real advantage.