Psychology & Criminology

Mrs Donnely Teaches our Psychology and Criminology courses in our Sixth form department and this week she gave us an update of what students are studying and some of the topics they are covering.


Year 12 are working on a phycological study. As part of their coursework, they are undertaking a study based on a memory experiment or an eyewitness experiment. Students must choose and conduct an experiment, gather consent, collect data, analyse their results and write a report. They work with Miss Donnely to ensure they have covered the requirements and have done some interesting work she told us “Students are always surprised in an eyewitness study how inaccurate witnesses can be and how they are influenced by others around them”.

Year 13 are studying a module on Psychopathology Students study a range of mental health disorders How they are classified, diagnosed and treated. They also look at the impact of different factors On different disorders. For example, poverty, genetics, pregnancy and learned behaviours. Students select one specific disorder to look at in depth and then must write a report discussing all of the factors they have considered and the impact of them.


Year 12 a currently looking at the causes of criminality, with particular focus this week on the biological causes of criminality and specifically XYY syndrome. This syndrome causes men to display aggressive behaviours and students must look at the treatments for this which can include gene therapy, they must also look at the implications of physiological illnesses and the link to criminality.

Year 13 this week will be looking at the role of agencies in the justice system comment this includes the police, courts of law and prisons. Students look at funding, there philosophies and systems of how they work. This work links to a trip that students went on earlier in the term to Shrewsbury prison. They even had a go at fingerprinting. This sparked a brilliant discussion around forensics and how that fits into the Justice system.

Mrs Donnelly says “students really enjoy psychology and criminology in sixth form, it gives them the opportunity to use the skills they have gained at GCSE to learn a subject they have not encountered before, the subject matter often intrigues them and sparks many debates in the classroom”.

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