Psychology

This course will be of relevance to anyone who is interested in the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour.  It provides an interesting and varied introduction to Psychology by focusing on a wide range of different topic areas. Key pieces of research are studied and students will be taught to critically examine theories that have been developed by a number of well-known psychologists including Freud, Bowlby, Skinner and Zimbardo.

As Psychology is a scientific discipline, it uses scientific methods to both analyse and explain human behariour.  Students will learn how to design and conduct psychological experiments.

Psychology offers explanations for questions such as “How do I improve my memory?”, “Why do people obey and conform?”, “Why do people get depressed?” and “What is the cause of criminality?”.

It is very important that students enter the course with sound scientific, literacy and numeracy skills.Students who typically do well in Psychology 

A Level are those who possess strong academic skills, aspiring to a wide variety of higher education pathways.  

To get started

Students need to be able to work across disciplines so will need grade 4 in GCSE English and grade 5 in either Maths and one Science or two Sciences.  Students will be required to analyse data, create extended pieces of essay writing and conduct scientific research.  As a subject new to students at KS5 it moves quickly.  Students must be organised and prepared to work independently and engage in wider reading.

Exam and Assessment Information

AQA – 7182

Students will be required to complete multiple choice, short answer and extended writing responses.  All modules are equally weighted.  The A Level award has three exams weighted at 33.3% each.

Unit 1 – Exam 33.3%

Introductory Topics in Psychology 

Compulsory content:

Social influence; Memory; Attachment; Psychopathology 

Unit 2 – Exam 33.3%

Psychology in Context

Compulsory content:

Approaches in Psychology; Biopsychology; Research Methods  

Unit 3 – Exam 33.3%

Issues and Options in Psychology

Compulsory content:

Exploring the issues and debates in Psychology,

Plus

A choice of one from each option block – to be decided by the Psychology team.

Option 1: Relationships; Gender; Cognition & development

Option 2: Schizophrenia; Eating behaviour; Stress  

Option 3: Aggression; Forensic psychology; Addiction

(Current options in bold.)

What Next?

Psychology A Level is considered to be an excellent entry qualification for a wide range of degree courses and graduate careers. Clinical psychology, sports psychology, occupational psychology and forensic psychology are all becoming increasingly popular graduate career choices.  It should be noted that studying Psychology demonstrates that you are a “good all-rounder” as you must be able to demonstrate both scientific and analytical skills as well as extended writing.  These skills give Psychology students a wealth of transferable skills which is essential in today’s changing employment market.  An understanding of the human mind is useful in a number of careers including medicine, law, marketing, education and social work.