The Psychology Department

Don't become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin. — Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936)

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour, emotions and thoughts. Pupils at Peponi School follow the Cambridge International AS and A Level Psychology course. The course is designed to:

  • Provide an introduction to psychological concepts, theories, research findings and applications. 
  • Critically analyse psychological theory and practice.
  • Encourage pupils to explore and understand the relationship between psychological findings and everyday life.
  • Develop skills of analysis, interpretation, application and evaluation.
  • Promote an appreciation and understanding of individual, social and cultural diversity.
  • Develop an understanding of ethical issues in psychology, including the moral and ethical implications of psychological research.
  • Explore and understand the relationship between psychological findings and social, cultural and contemporary issues.
  • Improve communication and empathy skills.

At AS pupils develop an appreciation of the subject by exploring the ways in which psychological research is carried out. As part of their course, pupils study pieces of research drawn from four approaches. This provides an insight into the ways in which psychology has been applied, thereby leading to a better understanding of key themes and issues. The focus for the Core Studies is for pupils to be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological research, reflecting the diversity of psychological enquiry.  Pupils will also be expected to be able to assess critically each of the Core Studies in terms of its methodology and ethical issues. At the end of the course, pupils will sit paper 1 and paper 2 which both combine to form the AS grade, together they form 50% of the overall A Level mark.

The A2 syllabus is designed to prepare pupils for undergraduate study. The syllabus encourages the pupil to look at how psychological theory and research has been applied to different settings. This involves the pupil in integrating the various areas of the subject, and seeing the connections and contrasts between them.

The chosen applied areas which we study at Peponi School are: Abnormality and Health. These applied areas have been chosen because of the range of literature available for each, and because of the breadth of psychology that is relevant to each area. Within each chosen applied area, pupils will be required to look at the core approaches in psychology: cognitive psychology, social psychology, biological psychology and the learning psychology. Pupils will also be required to apply the issues and debates from the AS Level component along with various methods. At the end of the course the pupil will sit paper 3, which is worth 50% of the overall A Level mark.

Beyond A Level, Psychology is recognised as a valuable Science A Level by both employers and universities.  In addition to numeracy, communication and ICT, you acquire a wide variety of skills—from organisation to analysis, from investigative research to a deeper understanding of the diversity of human behaviour. Psychology graduates have the ability to design, implement and evaluate research where both human and animal behaviour is studied.  

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