Psychology

Exam board: AQA

Who is it for?

The psychology specification considers the nature of psychology as a science. It is for all those with a lively, enquiring and critical mind, an abiding interest in human behaviour, and who are not prepared to accept things at face value.

Entry Requirements

In addition to the general entrance requirements, these must include a 5, 4 in sciences (minimum of two) with the grade 5 in biology, grade 4 or higher in English language and literature, and grade 5 higher tier mathematics. (Students should be aware that many universities now require at least grade 5 in GCSE maths and science for students wishing to study a degree in psychology). Students should be numerate and able to express themselves clearly in both verbal and written form.

A Level: UNIT 1 - Introductory Topics

Written Paper: 2 hours, 33.3% of A Level

Cognitive Psychology : including the nature of memory, models of memory, explanations for forgetting, and factors affecting eyewitness testimony.

Developmental Psychology: including stages of attachment, multiple attachments and cultural variations in attachment, explanations of attachment, deprivation, and the influence of early attachments in adulthood.

Social Psychology : including explanations for conformity and obedience and factors influencing these behaviours, explanations for minority influence, independent behaviour and the role social influence processes play in social change.

Individual Differences : including definitions of abnormality, approaches to explaining abnormality and therapies used to treat abnormal behaviours.

A Level: UNIT 2 – Psychology in Context

Written Paper: 2 hours, 33.3% of A Level

Approaches in Psychology

The origins of psychology and the emergence of psychology as a science. The following approaches will be considered:

  • Behaviourist
  • Psychodynamic
  • Humanistic
  • Cognitive
  • Biological – significant focus falls on this approach
  • Biopsychology

Including divisions of the nervous system, sensory, relay and motor neurons, synaptic transmission, the endocrine system, localisation of function in the brain, plasticity and functional recovery, methods of studying the biology of the brain and biological rhythms.

Research Methods (including inferential statistical testing)

You will come to develop an in depth understanding of the research procedures used in psychological research (design, procedure, analysis of results etc) and you will examine the advantages and disadvantages of them all.

A LEVEL: UNIT 3 – Issues and Options in Psychology

Written Paper: 2 hours, 33.3% of A Level

  • Issues and Debates in Psychology
  • Following issues & debates will be considered:
  • Gender and Culture Biases
  • Free Will vs Determinism
  • Nature vs Nurture
  • Holism vs Reductionism
  • Idiographic vs Nomothetic
  • Ethics & Socially Sensitive Research
  • Topics
  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression

A Level Qualification:

End of the Year 13 year – 3 exams, 2 hours each.

For further information, please contact:

 Mr Gill and Mrs Rose