Is A-Level Psychology a science?

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Psychology is an extremely popular A-Level. Many students love the idea of studying human behaviour and learning about theories they may have never come across before. However, there is much debate about what kind of subject A-Level Psychology is, leading to schools deliberating which subjects they should group psychology with.

There is great debate about whether psychology as a subject is seen as a science or not. After all, not all of the psychological approaches meet the scientific criteria. However, A-Level Psychology is still classed as a STEM subject.

If you want to find out more about whether A-Level Psychology is classed as a science, check out the rest of this article!

Is psychology a science?

If you happen to be taking A-Level Psychology, you will most likely be learning about the roots of psychology as a subject. There are many different branches of psychology, including the cognitive approach, behaviourist accounts and the psychodynamic approach.

These branches differ in how scientific they are. After all, behaviourism is seen as extremely scientific, as it involves observation and objective measurements. In comparison, the psychodynamic approach is not considered scientific at all, as it is based on subjective opinion.

This can make people doubt psychology as a science, as some approaches are not based on empirical evidence. This is in comparison to other sciences, such as biology, chemistry and physics.

However, psychology today is mostly viewed as a science, as it now focuses on systematic research with objective evidence. You can discover more about the debate if you check out this article from Simply Psychology.

Is A-Level Psychology a science?

A-Level Psychology is seen as a science. This is driven by the fact that a large proportion of A-Level Psychology is dedicated to research methods.

This requires students to learn about systematically collecting data, analysing data and conducting statistical tests. Students are still taught about theories from long ago, which have no evidence, such as Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic theories.

However, much of the content is based on carefully carried out research. A-Level Psychology also requires students to understand parts of the brain when learning about neuropsychology, emphasising the scientific nature of A-Level Psychology.

You can find out more about what you will be taught if you do A-Level Psychology if you read this article from the AQA website.

Why do some students not view A-Level Psychology as a science?

Many students don’t see A-Level Psychology as a science because they may find it easier than the other scientific A-Levels. However, this may just be because they find A-Level Psychology more interesting.

It is true that A-Level Psychology doesn’t contain much maths, however the amount of content you must remember is immense! Therefore, remembering all of this and applying the theories to situations can definitely be difficult.

A-Level Psychology is also still a relatively new science compared to biology, chemistry and physics. This can lead to students having doubts about it’s scientific credibility.

Do universities view A-Level Psychology as a science?

Universities do see A-Level Psychology as a science. After all, when degrees in psychology are found on university websites, psychology is often listed as a social science.

The term ‘social science’ can definitely carry a stigma, as some people don’t see these as real sciences. However, psychology is actually a very well respected and scientific discipline.

Some universities class A-Level Psychology as a STEM subject. This implies that they do see this A-Level as a science. Therefore, if you see that for a course, you need a certain number of STEM subjects to get in, A-Level Psychology could be included!

However, it is always best to check with the university. If you want to discover what the other A-Level STEM subjects are, check out this Think Student article.

How hard is A-Level Psychology?

As A-Level Psychology can be seen as a STEM subject, you may be wondering how hard it actually is. As with all A-Levels, A-Level Psychology is quite difficult.

This is because you are taught so many things that you have to remember. Consequently, A-Level Psychology requires an immense amount of revision. You can find out the best way to do this and how to get an A* in A-Level Psychology if you check out this Think Student article written by a top achieving psychology student.

You are also assessed by a range of different questions, including essay questions, multiple choice questions and short answer responses.

You can find out how hard A-Level Psychology is in more detail if you check out this Think Student article.

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