Members of the department
Dr K. Mason
About Our Subject
Do you have excellent communication and discussion skills, the ability to learn and retain information and key concepts at a fast pace, a commitment to understanding how the human mind works and the maturity to deal with challenging, sensitive topics? If so, Psychology may be for you. Psychology is a fascinating subject which both challenges and captivates students of all abilities.
You have probably heard the word ‘Psychology’ used, but what exactly does it mean? A number of definitions are used, but all suggest, that it is ‘the scientific study of mind and behaviour’ (Gross,1992). Although the behaviour of human beings has always been of interest to others, it is only relatively recently, that a rigorous scientific approach has been applied to its study. Psychology is the study of what people (and animals) do and why they do it. Whilst Psychologists attempt to explain a variety of human behaviours, they also use their understanding to help people with difficulties and solve practical problems, such as: How can you improve your memory? How can you manage stress?
Psychology is however, a relatively young scientific discipline, so there is still much to learn about the complexity of human experience and behaviour.
Psychology is a fascinating subject which both challenges and captivates students of all abilities. As an A-level Psychology student, in your first year, you will study Introductory Topics in Psychology, learning about conformity, social norms, how the mind remembers and forgets and how children form attachments. You will also study Psychology in Context, learning about the different approaches in psychology and how to design and conduct your own psychological research. In the second year of your A-level course, you’ll deepen your understanding of human behaviour, by studying Issues and Debates in Psychology, Research Methods and three further topics, taken from each of three option groups. We are currently studying Forensic Psychology, Relationships and Eating Behaviour. At A-level, there are three exams, each accounting for one third of your A-level. The three exams last 2 hours and are worth 96 marks each. The exams consist of multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing questions. This course is assessed entirely through examination.
The Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology consists of a combination of continual assessment through written assignments and external examinations. The course involves three mandatory units which explore the study of psychological approaches, health psychology and a practical research-based project. In psychological approaches, students will examine the cognitive, social, learning and biological methods associated with studying the human mind and behaviour. Health psychology looks at the motivation behind healthy and unhealthy behaviours, considers how stress links to illness, and why people become addicted to behaviours or substances. In the research-based unit, students will learn how to work to deadlines, manage their time, find information for themselves, and hone basic skills such as using an index correctly, and referencing. One optional unit will also be completed, from a choice of: criminal and forensic psychology, principles of children’s psychological development, psychopathology and treatment, and applied sport psychology.
The focus of the Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology is upon the real world application of the discipline. It will be suited to those students who wish to study for one of the applied psychology courses at university, with the aim of ultimately working within the applied Psychology sector. It will provide the platform for a variety of careers working in the field, for example Occupational Health, Child Psychology, Forensic and Criminal Psychology. as well as a number of related occupations including Social Work, Education and the Police.
Students should, however, always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at their chosen higher education provider.