Psychology is the scientific study of brain and behaviour and is based on experimental research. It is a very broad subject as we investigate everything to do with how and why humans behave the way they do.
At NHEHS Psychology is taught in the sixth form where it is an increasingly popular subject. The new OCR A Level psychology course consists of three strands: research methods, psychological themes through core studies and applied psychology.
‘Research Methods’ familiarises students with the four main techniques for collecting and analysing data. ‘Psychological Themes through Core Studies’ refers us to ten key themes looking at classic and contemporary studies which will help us understand the debates within psychology. Finally students will see how these techniques and research can be applied in areas such as mental health, criminal psychology and child psychology.
Students are expected to carry out their own small scale practical activities reflecting on how these experiences have furthered their understanding of psychology and as part of the examination for Unit 1 students will design their own study based on the stimulus material in the exam.
In order to help students further understand applied psychology there is a curriculum trip to the Royal Courts of Justice and to a working mental health unit. Both these visits allow students a first-hand experience of applied psychology, showing them how useful a psychological insight can be in the real-world and demonstrating the issues that are faced and overcome on day-to-day basis by these professionals.
Psychology provides its students with a broad skill set that prepares them for higher education and a wide range of potential careers. A Level Psychology complements other A Level choices such as biology, maths, English language, philosophy, geography and economics. Beyond the sixth form, for those who take psychology at university, it can open doors to careers as varied as advertising, marketing, journalism and law. With postgraduate study, career paths within psychology, such as counselling, educational psychology, clinical psychology or forensic psychology are possible options.