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Why study Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of how people think, feel and behave. It provides a fascinating insight into how the mind works, through rigorous and scientific investigation of human behaviour. You will learn a variety of skills including analytical thinking, improved communication, problem

solving,  and many more that will prepare you for an exciting future with the possibility of a range of

fantastic degree choices and future careers, including Educational, Clinical, Occupational and Forensic Psychology, Medicine, Teaching, Counselling, PR, Marketing, Broadcasting and Advertising. 

 

 

How is the course structured?

From September 2015 the AQA Psychology A Level will be linear.  This has resulted in changes being made to the way that students will be examined.  Students who wish to obtain only an AS level in Psychology will sit two exams at the end of year 12.  Students who wish to take the whole A Level in Psychology will be examined on year 12 content and year 13 content at the end of their second year of study.  They will sit a total of three exams at the end of year 13. This is in line with wider changes to A Levels being implemented in the next few years.  Both the AS and A Level qualification will have a maths component of at least 10%.

 

What will I study?

AS LEVEL PSYCHOLOGY (One year course only)

 

Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology

(50% of AS Level – 1.5 hour exam)

This paper explores three topics of interest - social influence, memory and attachment.  Students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and ability to evaluate and analyse psychological concepts, theories and studies in these areas as well as research methods and ethics in relation to the paper 1 content.  

Paper 2: Psychology in context

(50% of AS Level – 1.5 hour exam)

This paper looks at some of the main approaches within Psychology including the learning, cognitive and biological approach.  Research methods and psychopathology is also explored and students will learn the definitions, characteristics and treatments of a number of disorders such as OCD, depression and phobias. Student’s knowledge, understanding, evaluation and analytical skills in relation to this content will be assessed in the exam as well as research methods.

 

A LEVEL PSYCHOLOGY  (Two year course)

 

Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology

(33.3% of A Level – 2 hour exam)

This paper explores four topics of interest - social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology. Students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and ability to evaluate and analyse psychological concepts, theories and studies in these areas as well as research methods and ethics.  

Paper 2: Psychology in context

(33.3% of A Level – 2 hour exam)

This paper looks at some of the main approaches within Psychology including the learning, cognitive, biological, psychodynamic and humanistic approach.  Research methods and biopsychology is also explored and amongst other things, students will learn about the divisions of the nervous system and localisation of function in the brain.

Paper 3: Issues and options in Psychology

(33.3% of A Level – 2 hour exam)

For this paper students will need to know about issues and debates in Psychology such as the nature vs nurture debate and free will and determinism.  Various forms of bias in research will be considered and students will study three areas of Psychology in detail: Relationships, Eating behaviour and Forensic Psychology.

 

How will I study?

This challenging course has been designed to develop breadth of knowledge, critical thinking skills and an appreciation of the relationships between different aspects of the subject. You will be encouraged to develop skills of analysis, interpretation and evaluation. In addition, the course requires that you work hard in class, take part in group activities and be prepared to work responsibly on your own.

 

 

Further information from AQA about AS and A Level psychology can be found here: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/psychology/AQA-7181-7182-WHY-CHOOSE-PSY.PDF