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KS5: IB Psychology

At the core of the Psychology course is an introduction to three different approaches to understanding behaviour: the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches. Students study and critically evaluate the knowledge, concepts, theories and research that have developed the understanding in these fields. 

The interaction of these approaches to studying Psychology forms the basis of a holistic and integrated approach to understanding mental processes and behaviour as a complex, dynamic phenomenon, allowing students to appreciate the diversity as well as the commonality between their own behaviour and that of others. 

The contribution and the interaction of the three approaches is understood through the four options in the course that focus on areas of applied psychology: abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, and the psychology of relationships.

A full range of evidence types are learned about and from, like statistical, narrative, factual, research and case studies, including research methods.

Short answer questions like those in exams are used to practice concision, alongside more routine questions to check for comprehension and encourage memorisation, while the depth of knowledge is honed across a range of studies in the first year.

Students are prepared for the second year by knowing about and having learned from the range of methods. Students also have underpinned knowledge of the IA which is to a limited extent an experience of  psychological research.

Schedule of Learning

  • Module 1: Approaches to Psychology & The Sociocultural Approach
  • Module 2: Sociocultural and Biological approach
  • Module 3-5: Introduction to the Internal Assessment (coursework) and the Cognitive Approach
  • Module 6: IA and revision for mock examinations

Exam Board Information

Year 13 explores human relations and abnormal psychology, while completing the IA that was started in the previous Year. These studies begin to consolidate the know how and methodological approaches of psychology students more so than in Year 12. 

There are two teachers of Psychology, who tend to divide the teaching through assessment focus, with one taking on the IA and the other teaching the Core and Option topics as well as having sole focus on the longer essays. Students are taught how to use folders to organise their work, and this is strong preparation for higher education.

Psychology students are prepared by the end of Year 13 not just for higher education, but also a range of jobs that require substantive knowledge of human behaviour. The methods of studying and approaching psychology including data, science and theories means that students are prepared for high order jobs.

  • External Assessment (80%)
    3 Examination papers, with a mixture of short and long answer questions. 
  • Internal Assessment (20%)
    A written report on the findings of an experiment conducted by students

Schedule of Learning

  • Module 1-4:  Human Relations, Abnormal Psychology, Internal Assessment
  • Module 5: Revision

Exam Board Information