A Level Psychology

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Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour, that attempts to provide an understanding of why people do and think how they do: what makes people 'tick'? Psychologists do this through continuous research that generates theories for behaviour, then test those theories with more research, reviewing them each time a new set of results are published. Psychological theory is then used in the wider world to help diagnose and treat a range of mental health or psychological illnesses and to underpin social policy and legislation. This theory is used in various sectors, such as education, social care, healthcare, business, sports and law.

The best way to revise Psychology at A Level is to start early and stay consistent. There is a large number of studies and theories (with names!) to learn, so it's best to stay organised, create flashcards, and don't let the content pile up; revisit what you learn in class often and in short bursts. When it comes to evaluation, it's a good idea to study with your Psychology peers, so you can discuss and understand the criticisms on a deeper level, which will in turn give you a better chance of remembering them.

In the AQA A Level Psychology course, you will learn a variety of topics from 'Social Influence', to 'Schizophrenia'. It will include other topics from Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology and Psychology in the wider world (e.g., through 'Forensic Psychology,' 'Gender' and 'Addiction'.

Having an A Level in Psychology can set you up very well for a number of careers. Much like other subjects at this level, the A Level alone won't qualify you as a therapist or counsellor, but it will give you a good foundation for a degree and then post-graduate courses in psychology, which will result in a career in therapy. If that's not your thing, you can take psychology into working in almost any sector: IT, Sports, Law, Education, Policy Writing, Government work, Health & Social Care, Business & Entrepreneurship, or generally anything that involves working with, or producing a product for another person.

Psychology ranks on the more difficult side of A Levels, because of the reading and studying it requires, and the balance of good English literacy skills, mathematical skills and scientific thinking. It is a science-based subject that requires some essay skills and the ability to think logically, but also outside of the box, and imagine concepts that you can't necessarily see or experience for yourself. Whilst not the most difficult, especially in comparison to pure sciences or completely English/humanities-based subjects, students do not often expect the amount of reading that is required, and tend to choose this subject for the pure fascination of it all - this will only get you so far! If you are wanting to take the subject but are worried about anything, speak to the person who is in charge of teaching the course and they can give you more reassurance on how it's taught and what support is on offer.

Usually, entry requirements are a 6 in at least one science, English and/or Maths. Teachers are more confident that the student has the best set of foundational skills to study the course when they arrive with at least a 6 in all three. Some establishments will only require 5s, but this is dependent on the makeup of the sixth form or college delivering the course. If you want grades to aim for to set yourself up well, focus on gaining at least a 6 in your biology and English language grades, with at least a 5 in maths.

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