Applied Psychology

This course provides you with a starting basis to the applied psychology sector by focusing on up to date theories and including the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes required to succeed in the sector. In the first year, you will gain an understanding of a range of psychological concepts and how they apply to contemporary society, as well as completing your own research project into a psychological issue. In the second year, you are able to specialise in health psychology; lifestyle choices, unhealthy behaviours and behavioural change. You will also study psychopathology (mental health). This course will provide you with a broad basis of study for the applied psychology sector, as well as developing the necessary skills to be successful in your chosen career path.

Awarding Body

Available As

CertExt Cert

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What will I study?

BTEC National Certificate in Applied Psychology (1 year)

The certificate course comprises of two compulsory units:

Unit 1: Psychological Approaches and Applications

In this unit you will explore four key approaches in psychology: social, cognitive, learning and biological. You will develop an understanding of the assumptions, the key theories and key pieces of research from each of the four approaches. You will then apply your knowledge of these approaches to explain issues surrounding gender identity, aggression and consumer behaviour.

Unit 2: Conducting Psychological Research

Human behaviour is unpredictable and diverse, making it particularly difficult to measure. It is, therefore, crucial that the methods used to investigate key questions are appropriate and thorough. This unit will allow you to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the scientific process in psychological research methodology through designing, conducting and analysing your own psychology research project.

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology (2 years)

You will complete Unit 1 and Unit 2 as above. You will also complete Unit 3 as a compulsory unit, as well as one other unit to be confirmed.

Unit 3: Health Psychology

In this unit you will explore psychological approaches, theories and studies related to lifestyle choices, unhealthy behaviours and behavioural change, linking them to specific contexts. We will focus on explaining issues surrounding stress, physiological addiction and behavioural addiction. This unit places an emphasis on applying health psychology in a vocational setting and gives you the opportunity to understand the work of health psychologists and other healthcare practitioners.

Unit 6: Introduction to Psychopathology

In this unit you will develop knowledge of psychopathology; types and characteristics of mental disorders and approaches to treatment, and the role of professionals in supporting and promoting mental health. This will include exploring the causes of psychopathology, as well how society have historically viewed those whose behaviour was seen as abnormal.

How will I learn?

During this course you will engage with a variety of learning activities, such as individual and group work; written tasks; presentations; research and interactive lessons. As this is a vocational course, a large element is applying your learning to case studies which will be similar to those you may get when working in a related field.

How will I be assessed?

Unit 1: Psychological Approaches and Applications

This unit is assessed through an external exam in January of the first year. The exam will be 1.5 hours and will be 72 marks. This is worth 50% of your grade for the Certificate qualification, or 25% of the grade for the Extended Certificate. The exam is graded as: Near Pass, Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Unit 2:

This unit is assessed internally through assignments. You will have to complete 3 different assignments. This is worth 50% of your grade for the Certificate qualification, or 25% of the grade for the Extended Certificate. The assignments are graded as: Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Unit 3: Health Psychology

This unit is assessed through an external exam in January of the second year. The exam will be 2 hours and will be 70 marks. This is worth 33% of your grade for the Extended Certificate qualification. The exam is graded as: Near Pass, Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Unit 6: Introduction to Psychopathology

This unit is assessed internally through assignments. You will have to complete 2 different assignments. This is worth 17% of the grade for the Extended Certificate. The assignments are graded as: Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Are there any trips on this course?

As this is a vocational qualification, we try to include as many trips and enrichment activities as possible. For example, students will be invited to attend talks by guest speakers from relevant work places. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in practical activities both in and out of college to conduct their own research investigations.

Are there any extra costs?

Students are required to purchase booklets for the course (approximately £5) but there is no need to purchase any textbooks or other course materials.  There is a charge for each trip, although this is kept to a minimum where possible.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

Standard college entry requirements apply.

Careers Information

Many Psychology students go to work in the Social Care sector. Social Care is a sector with a constant demand for jobs with approximately 110,000 job vacancies. These are in a variety of different settings, ranging from care homes to probation offices.

FAQs

Do I need to have studied psychology before?

The vast majority of our students have never studied psychology before and the aim of Unit 1 is to give you an introduction to the applied psychology sector.

How is BTEC Applied Psychology different to A-Level Psychology?

BTEC Applied Psychology is a more hands-on vocational course which allows students to gain a greater understanding of how psychology is used in the workplace. The BTEC is also better for students who prefer coursework, as there are two units which are assessed through assignments and two assessed through examinations.

How many other subjects should I study alongside Applied Psychology?

This qualification is equivalent to an A-Level, therefore most students will study two other subjects alongside it.

Do I need to be good at Maths?

The mathematical content on this course is much less than A-Level Psychology, but as it is considered a scientific subject there is still maths involved. The content is not too challenging, and does not go beyond GCSE maths too far. Your teacher will guide you through this section and will be there to support you at every step. The maths content you will learn is applied to how maths is used in real world psychology.

Do universities accept this course?

Yes! This course carries the same level of UCAS points as an A-Level.