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A Level Psychology or Philosophy? watch

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    Psychology is rubbish and boring, do Philosophy :borat:
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    (Original post by Lollyage)
    Oh thanks! Yeah I was thinking philosophy is a little limiting too. Is psychology more enjoyable though?
    I personally find that psychology is a lot more enjoyable. It's challenging and current. I think philosophy is an interesting subject but you just find yourself thinking, how is it going to help me, does it really apply to a modern society. Like, the first thing we learnt about was Plato's analogy of 'The Cave'.. it made some sense but what's the real use? Psychology can lead to a more active career in actually helping people and their quality of life rather than just thinking about it. :woo:
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    I also study philosophy at A Level and am really enjoying it. If you enjoy thinking about things in depth and exploring people's views of the world and religion, I'd highly recommend philosophy. So far, we've studied some of the ancient philosophers like Aristotle and Plato, looked at the portrayal of God in the Bible, and at the moment we're looking at different arguments for the existence of God e.g. the Ontological and Cosmological argument. We have great discussions in class and, at the risk of sounding cliché, I find that it really inspires me to challenge the way I think about things.
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    Do Philosophy.

    It's very interesting and is useful for the transferable skills it teaches you. Psychology on the other hand is apparently mainly case studies, and is a lot harder and more boring than it looks. Every year over half my sixth form take it because it's 'cool'. Most of them end up hating it.
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    (Original post by d123)
    Do Philosophy.

    It's very interesting and is useful for the transferable skills it teaches you.
    What transferable skills does Philosophy have that Psych doesnt?
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    (Original post by Lollyage)
    I really can't decide which one to do out of the two of them! My other subjects are (atm:p:) Biology, English Language and German and I have no idea what I want to do at uni; anything from linguistics to human sciences to speech therapy or perhaps even german combined with something else :rolleyes: So ideally I'd like to keep my options open, and I'm aiming for a top uni hopefully.

    I've always found psychology really interesting but I'm worried as I already have one subject which is less respected (eng lang) so maybe having two softer subjects may harm my application. Also the exam board my college is on is OCR which I've heard makes psychology quite boring and dull
    Philosophy on the other hand looks really good, and is a respected subject, but it apparently has a massive workload and I'm not sure how it goes with my other subjects.

    If you did either (or both) of these a levels, how did you find it? And any ideas on what I should go for? Cheers
    I did psychology at A-level and I considered similar subjects to you at university, e.g. speech therapy, English language/linguistics. In terms of speech therapy it is very competitive at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and work experience is very important. If you choose psychology you will have the best combination of A-levels for speech therapy - English language, psychology, biology and a language. UCL, Manchester and other top institutions for the course prefer (but do not require) these subjects.

    Again, if you decide on linguistics then you will have a great combination of A-levels that will get you into the top universities. I wouldn't worry too much about A-level prestige as most places would rather pick somebody who has relevant A-levels and psychology is most certainly relevant to your future aspirations. I picked English language, psychology and sociology and got into King's, York and Edinburgh for English language and linguistics. Pick the subject you find the most interesting and relevant.

    Based on the subjects you want to do at university I would recommend psychology. I was with AQA and the course was interesting, but the teaching wasn't too great (there were a lot of generic slide show presentations that got a little dull and repetitive after a while). It's quite a heavy subject with plenty of studies/researchers to remember, but once you get a grasp of the basic theories then it is easy to apply them to every area of psychology. Also, if you put the hours in then it's quite easy to do well in it. You have to have a good memory though and be able to recall a lot of information in the exam!

    If you have any more specific questions about A-level psychology or about linguistics and speech therapy let me know.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    What transferable skills does Philosophy have that Psych doesnt?
    I'm not saying the psychology definitely doesn't have these skills, because I admit all I know about it is what my friends have said, but the ability to think for yourself, to write essays, to be analytical, to understand complex topics and explain them. A lot of these you can get from most arts subjects, to be fair, but Philosophy is very interesting on top of that! From what I understand, Psychology A-level is more about memorising case studies rather than 'proper' psychology of the sort that you might study at university. Of course, as I don't study it I might be wrong!

    Besides, Psychology was originally a branch of Philosophy, not that that has anything to do with it, but Philosophy often includes aspects of Psychology.
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    I was in the same dilemma as you (but had chosen different subjects) between these two and opted for applying to colleges/sixth forms with RS/Philosophy depending on which one was offered. I would advocate philosophy on the following reasons:

    1) seeing as you want to go into something like speech therapy, English Language will cover a fair amount of the psychology about how speech is developed and used - as well as the linguistic aspects of English. By having psychology, you will have an overlap, and while this may help in terms of cross-linking, it pretty much makes it pointless. Though with psychology, you will obviously cover broader topics as well as speech development.

    2) philosophy is will help you regardless of what you go into - the skills you develop from there to critically analyse, argue firmly for your side as well as in a balanced manner and thinking logically and systematically are skills that are used everywhere. Not only that, but it will also allow you took look into morality, the mind, human nature and a vast spectrum of topics - which overlaps a fair bit with psychology, without all the boring case studies - which don't build your skills as well as philosophy will.

    3) Also, phil. makes great conversation as its so broad and allows you to go on the flipside of many opinions, always ensuring an interesting chat is had :p:

    I personally believe philosophy will provide a more rigorous study, and will also be far more stimulating, challenging and fulfilling as it allows for a lot of logic, creativity and thinking on your feet whereas psychology is just a huuuge memory test.

    I got an offer from the college that offered AQA philosophy and the sixth form that offered OCR RS (Philosophy of Religion and Moral Philosophy/Ethics) and chose the sixth form (OCR). I must say, I am absolutely loving RS at the moment - there are lots of debates, it encourages you to form opinions and also reaches areas other subjects just don't reach. If ever you have any questions on the OCR course, feel free to ask me
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    (Original post by d123)
    but the ability to think for yourself, to write essays, to be analytical, to understand complex topics and explain them.
    Psych demands these skills also. Students have to formulate essays comparing theories consisting of empirical research to put an argument together. This, however, would also include research methods and evaluations of how the research is put together to define its contribution to said theories. The teaching of statistical analysis is also included. These are all incredibly useful skills if an individual wants to go into any field that deals with research based practice. I doubt you get these skills with Philosophy.

    (Original post by d123)
    Psychology was originally a branch of Philosophy
    Ha. I disagree with this strongly, but that's a whole thread in itself.
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    (Original post by emilyjane_09)
    I do English lit too, so studying existentialism was enjoyable as I love Camus and Sartre.
    I know it's a little of topic but why? they are fairly annoying.
    On the scale of 1-10 rating annoying philosophers (1 being the classics, 10 being modern theologians) existentialists are about an 8.
    Also you do know they are both french so what has that got ot do with english literature?
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    Hi!

    I've done both Philosophy and Psychology at College, and I'd say that they are both amazing subjects.

    With Philosophy though, you HAVE to be interested in it. Does God exist? Do souls exist? Do animals have feelings? etc. Alot of people in my AS Level class didn't like it and dropped out/failed, but that's because they weren't interested. I absolutely LOVED it! And got a really good mark at the end of it.

    Psychology is great too. But I'd say only do it if you either really want to or you're aiming for a career in psychology. Both of the subjects are very difficult, so make sure you really want to do the one you pick. Chances are, if you're not really that 'into' it, you'll quit or fail.

    I'd recommend to most people to do 3 A Levels, unless you've obtained very high GCSE grades.

    I had average GCSEs (11 GCSEs, 1 'B', 4 'C's, 5 'D's and a 'G') and I found 3 A Levels hard but perfect for me. I don't think I could have managed 4. GCSEs are MUCH easier than A Levels, and if you did a subject at GCSE be aware that A Levels can be completely different!

    And P.S English Language is preferred in most degrees to English Lit. And is also a very good A Level. I have no idea why you think it's not that great. lol

    xx
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    Top universities prefer English Literature as they consider it together with subjects like History, Philosophy, Georgraphy and classical languages such as latin and greek to be more academically challenging than English Language. Ultimately it will depend on the course you want to study, check entry requirements very carefully as after the mandatory requirements they usually list preferred, desirable and so on.
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    I think we can conclude from this thread that everyone has different opinions on the two subjects, some people hate one while others like it (and visa versa)

    I would say that they're roughly equally respected so do the one you think you will enjoy the most.

    Good luck
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    Just in case anyone runs into the same dilemma... Philosophy is probably the hardest humanities subject you can do. It's also HIGHLY respected (more so than psychology because of the logic it teaches). However, it's very difficult to get a good mark in, which is why an A is so highly respected. In addition to this, people who say philosophy doesn't lead to anything don't know what they're talking about. In the latest THE survey of the top 10 degree courses for employability, philosophy and history came in joint 8th, beating the likes of architecture, engineering, etc (
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...?frame=2282929)

    Psychology is considered a pseudo-science, but it's still very respected and a very good choice at A-Level. I'd say pick whatever you are interested in, because both subjects would require a certain amount of interest to get a good grade in. You can't just memorize the book/notes and expect to get an A. You'd need to do some reading in your own time. Good luck.
 
 
 
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