Psychology is the scientific study of the Brain and Behaviour; the brain is difficult to investigate in action, but behaviour is more obvious.
Psychologists use scientific principles and methods of study to determine causes of behaviour, means of managing behaviour and sometimes, shaping behaviour.
The field of psychology is very broad – the British Psychological Society boasts several divisions including Forensic, Health and Neuropsychology – all of which contain members who produce research, and practice their respective skills and disciplines.
At Southgate, we currently follow the AQA A Level specification 7182 (www.aqa.org.uk). The subject is taught in linear style and students will take 3 examinations at the end of the Year 13.
For paper 1 students will study social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology. Paper 2 includes approaches to psychology, biopsychology and research methods. For Paper 3 student study issues and debates in psychology and 3 other topics chosen from a selection set by the exam board.
Psychology at Southgate is a popular A level subject, but is not an easy option. Students wishing to pursue this A level must achieve at least a level 6 in English Language and a grade B in Biology (if studying Triple Science) or a grade B/C if studying Combined Science. Their GCSE Maths grades must demonstrate ability to engage with the requirements of the specification.
We have a range of students taking the subject; some will select Psychology it as it gives them the opportunity to study a new subject not available at GCSE; others because it is a focus of study for Higher Education or a future profession. Psychology requires attention to detail, analysis, evaluation, written appreciation, team work and the desire to understand human nature. Its skills are useful in education, the prison service, human resources, management, advertising, business, journalism and health (to name only a few). Psychology specific careers include Sports Psychology, Counselling, Psychiatric Services, Educational Psychology, Therapeutic Services and Occupational Health. Students can even go on to study further in areas such as Animal Behaviour and Evolutionary Psychology.
Mr P Starr - Head of Department