Psychology is a truly amazing subject which reveals which factors motivate or govern the behaviour of others; it can help with understanding objectively how others behave. More importantly, it can give an insight into one’s own behaviours, fears and motivations and enable comprehension of how complex human interaction can be.

Psychology is housed in a bright airy classroom adjoining the Roper Music School. The subject is only offered at A level. Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour and therefore offers pupils scientific insights into many questions about the human experience. Because psychology is a science, pupils approach the discipline from a rigorous research methods angle and develop a critical eye for good and bad science. The psychology course encourages pupils to become critical thinkers who can question established ideas both within the subject and society. Psychology enables pupils better to understand the many diverse ways that people think, feel and act because these processes can be influenced by a complex pattern of environmental, biological and mental determinants.

The course aims to develop both an academic understanding of the subject and an appreciation of its impact on people’s daily lives. It demands attention for twenty important studies representing five key areas of investigation in psychology and requires four techniques of collecting data, enabling the opportunity to carry out self-report, observation, experiment and correlation. The rewards include insights into many aspects of human behaviour – including that of students.

The OCR specification on offer involves 3 units of study (entirely assessed by examination at the end of the two year course). Core Studies have been chosen to demonstrate the strengths and limitations of psychology as well as consider both a classic and contemporary study on the same area. The aim for the Key Studies will be to look at a little background material for each and then to look at both the classical study and the contemporary study. Lesson time will also be used to develop study skills – in other words putting the studies to use in the ways you’ll need for the exam. Here our subject matter should give us a unique advantage: psychology helps us to understand how we learn, and we will be applying this understanding to our own work. A Level focuses on five core areas of psychology; Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Social Psychology and the Psychology of Individual Differences. Alongside this is the practical component where students plan, carry out and evaluate their own investigations. In the Applied Psychology unit, you will learn about applications of psychology, in three key areas, Mental Health issues, Child Psychology and Criminal Psychology and how theory is applied in real life situations as well as covering approaches, perspectives, methods, issues and debates which run through psychology.

Further subject information can be found in the relevant school curriculum document on the Curriculum page.