Mrs Fisher – Head of Social Science
Psychology is relevant to anyone who is interested in people and provides a good opportunity to display a range of academic skills. Many of our students continue their Psychological studies beyond A Level, either via degree courses in Psychology or in subjects that are likely to have a Psychological element e.g. Physiotherapy, Teaching, Nursing, Marketing, Human Resources, Social Work, Advertising and many others. Psychology is taught in close co-cooperation with St Aidan’s Psychology department.
We follow the AQA Specification A. Further information is available here.
Unit 1 (33.3%): Social influence, Memory and Psychopathology will be taught in Y12.
Unit 2 (33.3%): Approaches in Psychology includes the origins of Psychology and its emergence and recognition as a science and will be taught in Y12 alongside Biopsychology. Also in year 12 you will have the opportunity to study Psychopathology including the characteristics, explanations and treatments of phobias, depression and OCD. Research methods will be taught across both years of study (Y12&13)
Unit 3 (33.3%): Issues and Debates in Psychology (Y13).
- One topic from Relationship, Gender, Cognition and Development
- One topic from Schizophrenia, Eating Behaviour, Stress
- One topic from Aggression, Forensic Psychology, Addiction. Sociology
- “I’m finding Psychology really interesting and a nice change from the traditional subjects I studied at GCSE. So far I’ve found the AS course very manageable.” (Year 12 Student
- “Psychology is that bit different because you have to write essays, do scientific research and carry out data analysis. You also get a real insight into how people tick!” (Year 13 Student)
Each of the above three units are worth 33.3% of the A Level qualification; the course is assessed through three two hour exams.
“Psychology is that bit different because you have to write essays, do scientific research and carry out data analysis. You also get a real insight into how people tick!” (Year 13 Student)
“I’m finding Psychology really interesting and a nice change from the traditional subjects I studied at GCSE. So far I’ve found the AS course very manageable.” (Year 12 Student)
Mrs Fisher – Head of Social Science
Sociology is the study of society, large groups of people and individuals. It studies why people behave in the way that they do and how society and institutions such as the Government and education influence the way that you are.
Sociology examines the major institutions in society from various perspectives, such as Marxism, Feminism, and Functionalism; and considers how beneficial they are to individuals and groups. Sociology encourages critical and reflective thinking, a respect for social diversity and promotes different interpretations of social experiences.
Sociology allows you to debate current issues and is one of the rare subjects where your opinion counts! As this is a subject of past and contemporary society, Sociology also allows you to keep up to date with current affairs and the news.
Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods (33.3%)
This paper will be delivered at Year 12. Students will explore the following areas:
Section A: Education – Students will explore what is the role and purpose of education; the differing experiences of pupils, and how this shapes and affects their educational achievement and identity; how different minority groups experience education; how educational policies in the UK affect and shape education.
Section B: Methods in Context – Students will also cover the ways in which different research methods are used by sociologists and what are the strengths and weaknesses of these methods to investigate education.
Section C: Research Methods – Students will explore the various research methods that sociologists use to investigate society; and the strengths and weaknesses of adopting these methods.
Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (33.3%)
Section A: one option from Topics in Sociology: Culture and Identity, Families and Households Health & Work Poverty and Welfare (this will be taught in Year 12). The chosen topic for 2016-2017 is: Families and Households.
Section B: one option from the following topics: Beliefs in Society, The Media, Global Development, Stratification and Differentiation (this will be taught in Year 13). The chosen topic will be: The Media.
Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods (33.3%)
Section A: Crime and Deviance – Students will look at Crime and Deviance, which will be delivered in Year 13. They will consider key questions such as: What are the theories of crime and deviance in relation to social control? Who is more likely to commit crime and why? How does the media influence the rate of crime? What are the demographic trends in the crime statistics?
Section B: Theory and Methods – Student will build on the research methods they learnt at Year 12 and will consider the methodological strengths and weaknesses of using each method to research society. As well as this, students will also explore sociological perspectives and their view of society, including Marxism, Feminism, Functionalism, Interactionism and Postmodernism.
We follow the AQA Specification A. There is no coursework, assessment is based on exams. Students will sit a total of three papers at the end of Year 13 which will all make up 33.3% of their overall A-Level. Each paper is 2 hours long and is assessed via short answer questions and extended writing questions (up to 30 mark essays). More details about each paper can be found here.
An understanding of Sociology is key for careers in Politics and the Media, such as Journalism. As Sociology focuses on understanding how society and the key institutions in society function, this subject can be perfect for roles in public services e.g. like the police, criminal justice social workers, probation officers. Sociology can also lead you onto civil servant and public sector roles such as teaching, law and social work.