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Examination Board: OCR

Head of Department: A J McGinty

Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour.

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.

 Criminal Psychology

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.

Opportunities include:

Visiting speakers – eg: Brain day, Psychopathology day with Dr Guy Sutton Nottingham University medical school

Psychology society conference trips, to see, amongst others, world-renowned psychologists such as Philip Zimbardo and Elizabeth Loftus.

Progression routes include:

Chartered psychologist, medicine, business and finance, health, education, management, criminology and forensics, sport psychology, social and welfare.

Entry requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics, GCSE English Language and GCSE double award Science or equivalent in separate Science

Useful Links and Resources

OCR A-level Psychology specification

Recommended text book for year 1

Recommended text book for year 2

Psychology key terms guide

A summary of areas and perspectives in psychology

Guide to core studies part 1

Guide to core studies part 2

Issues in mental health key research guide

Criminal psychology key research guide

Sport and exercise psychology key research guide

Links to assessment materials