The educational purpose of Psychology is to enhance students’ awareness about themselves and others. Psychology students will learn about all aspects of human thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This will help pupils in all areas of their lives by improving their interactions with other people and enhancing their ability to understand and regulate their own emotions and behaviours. Additionally by learning about mental illness, the young people will be better equipped to fight stigmatisation and ignorance in this area.
Apart from the direct benefits of learning psychology, it also indirectly facilitates learning in many other subjects. Pupils will obtain skills which enhance learning and memory performance and improve their ability to cope with stress. Psychology modules learnt comprise an important part of other lessons like Business, sport, biology and lessons from the Humanities and Social Sciences. Psychology generally provides excellent training in analytical thinking and scientific research methods that are applicable to a broad range of academic topics.
Similarly diverse are the occupational areas in which psychology is relevant and important. Psychologists are needed in a variety of contexts which include research, healthcare and educational posts in the private and public sector, various organisations and corporations, legal and clinical settings, charities, social services and more. Having a background in psychology is of considerable benefit in any work setting which includes team work, working with clients, advertising, and working under pressure.
The pupils will explore a variety of perspectives on the study of human behaviour. The key approaches this course focuses on are biopsychology, behaviourism, social learning theory, cognitive psychology, the psychodynamic approach and the humanistic approach. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on the development of research shills and students will become competent in methodologies commonly used for the investigation of human behaviour.
During the first year, pupils will be introduced to memory and forgetting, aspects of social influence, psychological disorders and child development. During the second year, the pupils will explore ways in which psychological theory and research are applied. Specific topics covered include cognition and development, schizophrenia and forensic psychology. In addition to this, pupils will become familiar with common debates and issues in psychology for example the gender and cultural bias that seems to be embedded in psychological theory, ethical issues concerning research, nature vs nurture and more.
The AQA syllabus has been chosen because it has proven to be clear, engaging and easy-to-use, ensuring that pupils are helped as much as possible in their learning. This qualification introduces students to basic knowledge of all areas of psychology and it promotes the development of critical analysis, independent thinking and research skills. The AQA specification ensures that the topics have been updated so that they include the latest advances in the subject.