Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. A Level Psychology provides many opportunities for routes of progression into a variety of higher education courses and professions including: chartered psychologist, medicine, business and finance, health, education, management, criminology and forensics, sport psychology, social and welfare.
Key Stage 3
N/A – Psychology is not taught at Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
N/A – Psychology is not taught at Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 5
OCR specification Code: H567
Unit H567/01: Research Methods 1x 2hr exam
Planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques.
This unit is designed to give students some practical experience of psychological research. They have the opportunity to carry out a range of practical exercises involving experiments, observations, self-reports and correlations. The unit examination involves multiple choice questions, a research design and response and data analysis and interpretation.
Unit H567/02: Psychological Themes through Core Studies 1x 2hr exam
This unit uses easily accessible examples of psychological research to introduce students to the five core areas of the subject. These are:
Cognitive psychology which includes the study of the basic characteristics of memory and attention; social psychology which includes the study of the concepts of responses to people in authority and responses to people in need; developmental psychology which includes the study of external influences on children’s behaviour and moral development; biological psychology which includes the study of the regions of the brain and brain plasticity, and; the psychology of individual differences which includes the measurement of differences and an understanding of disorders.
Within each area, the learners are required to examine four core studies. These core studies are paired together around key themes. For each key theme, the learners need to examine both a classic and a contemporary study. The unit examination involves questions on the core studies, areas, perspectives and debates and also practical applications.
Unit H567/03: Applied Psychology 1x 2hr exam
Issues in mental health
This unit explores issues such as the historical context of mental health, the medical model eg: a genetic or biochemical explanation and treatment of mental illness, and alternatives to the medical model such as a cognitive explanation and treatment.
Sport and Exercise Psychology
This unit explores issues such as personality and sport; motivation; arousal and anxiety in sport: benefits of exercise and mental health and social influences in sport such as audience effects. Each area is evidenced using psychological research and strategies that are used by psychologists to improve performance.
This unit explores issues such as what makes a criminal and the collection and processing of forensic evidence; collecting evidence through interviews and the psychology of the courtroom; crime prevention and the effect of imprisonment.
It is assessed through a written examination where the unit examination involves short answer and extended response questions.
Exams & Assessment
Examination Board: OCR
Enrichment & Extra-curricular
Visiting speakers – eg: Brain day, Psychopathology day with Dr Guy Sutton Nottingham University medical school.
Psychology conference trips, to see, amongst others, world-renowned psychologists such as Philip Zimbardo, Elizabeth Loftus and the criminologist David Wilson.
Psychology Club takes place each week during Tuesday lunchtime and is open to students from year 10 and above.
Resources & Reading Lists
OCR A-level Psychology specification http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/171732-specification-accredited-a-level-gce-psychology-h567.pdf
Recommended text book for year 1 http://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25&products_id=160
Recommended text book for year 2 https://www.illuminatepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25&products_id=161&zenid=8afp9pvktdhhkmijfj9j08jui3
Psychology key terms guide http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/341322-key-terms-guide.docx
A summary of areas and perspectives in psychology http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/284832-areas-and-perspectives-in-a-nutshell-teacher-guide.pdf
Guide to core studies part 1 http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/290501-criminal-psychology-key-research-guide.pdf
Guide to core studies part 2 http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/183326-guide-to-core-studies-2.pdf
Issues in mental health key research guide http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/304157-issues-in-mental-health-key-research-guide.pdf
Criminal psychology key research guide http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/290501-criminal-psychology-key-research-guide.pdf
Sport and exercise psychology key research guide http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/335052-sport-and-exercise-psychology-key-research-guide.pdf
Links to assessment materials http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce/as-a-level-gce-psychology-h167-h567-from-2015/assessment/