Individuals & Society: Psychology

All students will study three approaches to Psychology: biological, cognitive and sociocultural.

What will you do on this course?

The biological approach looks at the physical and chemical attributes of the human brain, as well as hormonal and genetic influences on behaviour. The cognitive approach explores internal mental processes and the impact of different ways of thinking. The sociocultural approach is concerned with the influence of other people on behaviour, as well as examining variations between cultures. Higher Level students will undertake two further options: abnormal psychology and developmental psychology, while Standard

Level students will only complete one. Both Standard and Higher Level students will learn about research methods and will complete a practical investigation. The write-up of the investigation will be submitted as coursework and will account for a significant portion of the final grade.

How will you be assessed?

Both Standard and Higher Level students will complete Papers 1 and 2. Paper 1 covers “approaches to psychology”, and will consist of three short answer questions and one 22-mark essay. Paper 2 covers the options (abnormal and developmental psychology); Standard Level students will complete one 22-mark essay, while Higher Level students will complete two. Higher Level students will complete an additional third paper, which covers approaches to research.

Both Standard and Higher Level students will also complete an internal assessment consisting of a report on an experimental study undertaken by the student. This will be worth 22 marks and will make up 20% of the final grade for Standard Level students and 25% for Higher Level students.

What could this course lead to?

Through studying Psychology you will develop important transferable skills, such as critical analysis, essay writing and data handling and interpretation; these will be of use in both Science and Humanities subjects. For students interested in becoming chartered Psychologists, the traditional path is to complete an undergraduate degree in Psychology, followed by a postgraduate study in a particular field of Psychology: sport, forensic, health, clinical and educational, to name but a few.