What is it?
The scientific study of the human mind, its functions and subsequent behaviour. We cover a range of topics including memory, attachment, social behaviour, and psychopathology.
Why study this subject at Blackpool Sixth?
Currently our students are participating in contemporary psychological research with several universities across the country. Additionally, we support students who wish to explore their own areas of interest in psychology through the extended project qualification. The Psychology department is dedicated to providing students with hands-on experience of selected key areas studied on the course. For example, students gain a valuable perspective on forensic psychology by witnessing real cases unfold in the law courts. They can also visit primates at Blackpool Zoo to investigate the similarities between humans and animals in terms of learned and innate behaviours.
What skills will I develop?
- Essay writing
- Developing an argument with justification
- Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Team work
- Presentation skills
- Evaluating sources
How will I be taught?
- Diverse range of teaching methods including:
- Collaborative learning
- Independent learning
- Flipped learning
- Online learning via Google Classroom
- Peer teaching
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed via 100% examination comprising of three two-hour examinations at the end of the second year.
There is a wealth of knowledge in the psychology department with many staff being experienced AQA examiners.
Field trips, projects and employability opportunities
Psychology Live! Educational Psychology Conference in Paris
Elizabeth Loftus ‘Memory Matters’ Educational Psychology Conference in London
Student participation in psychological research in conjunction with the University of Central Lancashire, where 160 students took part in a study about working memory. We’ve also worked with Lancaster University’s Infant Lab to assist with attachment research, as well as visiting other Universities in the North-West such as John Moores University in Liverpool, and Edge Hill University in Ormskirk.
Range of guest speakers from high tariff universities and career professionals to explore progression opportunities within the field of psychology, e.g. a clinical psychologist from Lancaster University gave a presentation on working with people rare psychological disorders, and a Forensic Psychologist from The University of Cumbria worked with our students to practise criminal profiling.
Visits to a range of universities within the North West to gain an insight into studying psychology at degree level
Where does it lead?
Psychology can help to prepare you for a wide range of higher education courses and careers. For example, psychology is useful for all types of teaching, nursing and social work. It can also lead to a career as a research scientist, or as a practitioner in fields such as clinical, forensic, educational, occupational, health and counselling psychology. A number of our former students have progressed in a range of diverse areas; for example one student conducted published research and won the Ig Nobel Prize for her work, entitled ‘Creatures of the Night: Chronotypes and the Dark Triad Traits’ into the field of psychopathology. Another alumni student has been recently selected to complete a graduate teaching assistant post in the Department of Psychology at Edge Hill University, her research is entitled ‘Increasing adherence to chronic disease rehabilitation’. She will be working to develop a pilot treatment programme for cardiac rehabilitation and COPD patients, underpinned by psychological theory, with the aim of increasing treatment adherence and encouraging patients to maintain healthier lifestyles in the long-term.
The department is part of the ‘technology for learning’ scheme, therefore an electronic device (e.g. Chromebook) is compulsory to study this subject.
- Grade 5 in GCSE Science (in particular Biology) and grade 5 in GCSE maths required. Grade 5 in English Language is preferred.
What will I study?
Paper 1: Social influence; understanding how people can be influenced by social factors such as conformity, obedience and minority influence.
Memory; explaining the difference between short term and long term memory, why we forget and how memory can be affected by misleading information and anxiety.
Attachment; investigating the influence of childhood on adult behaviour, differences in cultural norms and the effect of deprivation.
Psychopathology; defining, understanding causes and treating a range of psychological disorders such as OCD, depression and phobias.
Paper 2: Approaches; understanding the origins of psychology and the five different perspectives within psychology, which all explain human behaviour in a variety of ways.
Biopsychology; the biological components that influence behaviour including; the central nervous system, endocrine system, localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation.
Research methods; developing practical skills to conduct psychological investigations.
Paper 3: Issues and Debates; developing analytic skills in relation to all topics covered within the specification.
Relationships; understanding how relationships are formed, maintained and reasons for breakdown. Exploring the emergence of virtual and parasocial relationships.
Schizophrenia; classifying schizophrenia, understanding the possible causes and investigating methods of treatment.
Forensic psychology; investigating issues surrounding, defining and measuring crime; exploring how to create offender profiles; explanations of crime and ways in which it can be dealt with.