At the core of the psychology course is an introduction to three different approaches to understanding behaviour: the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches.
Students study and critically evaluate the knowledge, concepts, theories and research that have developed the understanding in these fields. The interaction of these approaches to studying psychology forms the basis of a holistic and integrated approach to understanding mental processes and behaviour as a complex, dynamic phenomenon, allowing students to appreciate the diversity as well as the commonality between their own behaviour and that of others. The contribution and the interaction of the three approaches is understood through the four options in the course, focusing on areas of applied psychology: abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, and the psychology of relationships. The options provide an opportunity to take what is learned from the study of the approaches to psychology and apply it to specific lines of inquiry.
By the end of the psychology course at Higher Level, students will be expected to demonstrate the following:
1. Knowledge and comprehension of specified content
Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of: key terms and concepts in psychology; a range of psychological theories and studies; the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches to mental processes and behaviour; research methods used in psychology.
2. Application and analysis
Demonstrate an ability to use examples of psychological research and psychological concepts to formulate an argument in response to a specific question. Demonstrate application and analysis of: a range of psychological theories and research studies; the knowledge relevant to areas of applied psychology. Analyse qualitative and quantitative research in psychology.
3. Synthesis and evaluation
Evaluate the contribution of: psychological theories to understanding human psychology; research to understanding human psychology; the theories and research in areas of applied psychology. Evaluate research scenarios from a methodological and ethical perspective.
4. Selection and use of skills appropriate to psychology
Demonstrate the acquisition of skills required for experimental design, data collection and presentation, data analysis and the evaluation of a simple experiment while demonstrating ethical practice. Work in a group to design a method for a simple experimental investigation, organize the investigation and record the required data for a simple experiment. Write a report of a simple experiment.
GCSE English and Science are required with grades 5 or higher with the new 9-1 graded GCSEs.