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A co-educational independent through school
Nursery – Prep – Senior – Sixth Form

Psychology

Examination Board: AQA
Head of Department Mrs F Bradbury

Why study Psychology at A-level?

The mind is something intangible that exists within our brain; an unseen process of enzymes, chemicals and electric currents. But why is it that some people suffer from stress or mental illness? Or that others are considered abnormal for deviating from social norms? Psychology looks at questions like these and more. It’s a fascinating science with cutting edge research that has real world applications that you are bound to find interesting.

Course Outline

Whether you’re studying for the AS or the A-level, your first year will cover the same topic areas:

  • Introductory topics in psychology: learn about conformity, social norms, how the mind remembers and forgets and how children form attachments

Psychology in context: learn more about the different approaches in psychology and how to design and conduct your own research.

In the second year of the A-level you’ll deepen your understanding of human behaviour. You will study additional topics under Approaches in psychology, Biopsychology, Research methods and Issues and debates in psychology. You then choose three further topics; one from each of three option groups:

- Option one: • relationships • gender • cognition and development
- Option two: • schizophrenia • eating behaviour • stress
- Option three: • aggression • forensic psychology • addiction.

Course Aims

Psychology is a great subject to study because it will not only give you a number of transferable skills; it will also teach you more about the way people think. An understanding of the human mind is useful in a number of careers.

Psychology will complement just about any other subject. Students who study psychology often also study Biology, Sociology, Business, English or Physical Education. Also students, who want a career in any of the caring services, or in marketing or human resources, will find an understanding of psychology useful.

According to bestcourse4me.com, the top seven degree courses taken by students who have an A-level in psychology are:

• Psychology

• English studies

• Sociology

• Business studies

• Teaching

• Sport and exercise science

• Law

Assessment

There are two exams at AS each worth 50% of your AS qualification. Each exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 72 marks. The exams consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

At  A-level there are three exams, each account for one third of your A-level. The three exams last 2 hours and are worth 96 marks each. The exams consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

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