Our A Level provides an introduction to the subject as a whole and covers all areas of psychology that are studied at university and beyond. Not only will you gain insight into why people behave the way they do but you will also acquire skills that will be useful throughout life. Studying psychology helps to develop a perceptive, analytical, evaluative and questioning mind and complements both science and art subjects.
The career options are endless ranging through forensics, therapy, police, education, research and medicine to teaching and many more. If you have an interest in the workings of the human mind and human and animal behaviour then seriously consider studying psychology.
During Lower Sixth, students study areas including: memory (cognitive psychology), early social attachments of children (developmental psychology), stress (biological psychology), mental abnormality (psychopathology) and conformity and obedience (social psychology). There is a strong emphasis on theories, research methods and the role of science.
In Upper Sixth, students are able to make choices on topics studied. The first paper tends to cover biological rhythms and sleep, perception and eating behaviour, but may cover topics such as relationships, intelligence and gender. The second paper focuses on a mental illness (usually schizophrenia), a contemporary issue (usually media psychology) and an understanding on research methods and statistical tests (without the use of maths).
There is a strong emphasis on research and the role of science and students examine famous research studies, such as the Stanford Prison Experiment (by Zimbardo), Obedience to Authority (by Milgram) and Conformity (the Asch Experiment).
During Enrichment Week, students are able to visit the Freud Museum in Hampstead as part of their extended learning.
The department is at the forefront of offering students the opportunity to develop independent learning skills in and outside the classroom. As such, two research studies have taken place at Claremont recently. In association with the Clinical Research Centre at Surrey University, our students conducted a twelve month investigation on the relationship between sleep and teenagers’ cognitive performance. The project was sponsored by the Royal Society in London and was featured by the BBC (text and video links). The second research project was carried out by a third year Oxford undergraduate investigating the effects of peer-influenced adolescent risk taking.