“We are what we are because we have been what we have been, and what is needed for solving the problems of human life and motives is not moral estimates but more knowledge.”Sigmund Freud
Psychology is an incredibly popular subject at Bromley High School and appeals to a wide diversity of students. Psychologists have a ‘toolkit’ that contains a set of tools (explanations) which they use to explain behaviour. The A level course provides an excellent foundation for examining the competing schools of thought within the subject; the origins of Psychology, Behavioural, Cognitive, Psychodynamic, Biological and Humanist approaches. Additionally, the development of critical thinking and ability to understand both the far reaching implications and applications Psychology has in the real world is encouraged. Consideration of modern psychiatry, offender profiling, brain fingerprinting and the reliability of eye-witness testimony are just some of the hugely enjoyable and fascinating areas explored. Fundamentally, Psychology is a scientific discipline. A sizable part of the course contains research methods and mathematics including the use of inferential statistics, so students must be aware of this before applying to study Psychology at A level and beyond. Psychology is a multi-disciplinary subject and therefore we require our students to have the ability to ‘think’ and confidence to reject the concept of a right answer!
The AQA Psychology A level is designed develop three skills: describing what you know (AO1), applying your knowledge (A02) and analysing /evaluating this knowledge (A03). Due to the status of Psychology as the scientific study of human behavior and experience students are encouraged to examine how research progresses through to empirical findings. They will be expected to undertake a number of practical research investigations, collecting, analysing and interpreting data in order to understand the scientific process. There is a significant amount of essay writing required in timed conditions in addition to dealing with research methods and scientific knowledge from Biology.
The department hosts a Society led by the subject prefects where students have the opportunity to explore topics of interest beyond the specification. Academic enrichment also includes visits to The Bethlem Museum of Mind, Freud Museum, Christmas Psychiatry debate, annual Psychology in Action conference examining the wide-ranging applications of Psychology in the real world, featuring leading experts in their fields and contemporary research. Subject Clinic runs weekly and there is a PsyXtra class for our aspiring psychologists. Possible careers related to Psychology include childcare/nursery nursing, teaching, educational psychology, social work, caring for the elderly or disabled, psychiatric nursing, marketing, public relations/personnel, criminology, forensic psychology, counselling, clinical psychology or psychiatry pursued through medicine.