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Psychology

This course gives an introduction to Psychological theory, research and application. The five main Psychological approaches (cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, physiological psychology, individual differences and social psychology) are studied alongside the research methods upon which theories are based (e.g. questionnaires, observation studies, laboratory investigations, use of past research, etc.).

One of the more commonly cited definitions of Psychology is that it is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. In other words, psychologists explore questions about the way human beings behave and how they experience the world around them. In all of this exploration a systematic and scientific approach is used to generate research and create theories. 

Hence, Psychology:  

  • aims to explain why things happen;
  • is concerned with characteristics common to people in general as well as to unique individuals; and
  • deals with both normal and abnormal functioning

It does not matter if you are inclined towards the arts or sciences, Psychology is a discipline which encroaches on most other A Level subjects and holds a great deal of interest for people.

Staffing

Head of Department

Mrs C Shore

Teachers

Mr B White

Prefects

Aleena Sunil

Emelia Lewis

Gabby Page

Lauren Shore

Libby Ley

Rae Kellam

 

 

A Level

Year 12

In Year 12, the following topics are covered:

Psychopathology (Psychiatric disorders)

  • Definitions of abnormality
  • The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and OCD
  • The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias
  • The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression
  • The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD

Social influence (changing our behaviour because of the presence of others)

  • Types of conformity
  • Conformity to social roles
  • Explanations for obedience and resisting obedience
  • Minority influence
  • The role of social influence processes in social change

Memory (explanations of why our memory can be excellent and why forgetting occurs)

  • The multi-store model of memory
  • Types of long-term memory
  • The working memory model
  • Explanations for forgetting

Attachment (childhood development)

  • Caregiver-infant interactions in humans
  • Animal studies of attachment
  • Explanations of attachment
  • Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’
  • Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation
  • The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships

Biopsychology (The link between behaviour and complex biology)

  • The divisions of the nervous system
  • The structure and function of neurons
  • The function of the endocrine system
  • The fight or flight response
  • Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation
  • Ways of studying the brain
  • Biological rhythms

Year 13

In Year 13, the following topics are covered:

Issues and debates in Psychology (Discussions within psychology)

  • Gender and culture in Psychology
  • Free will and determinism
  • The nature-nurture debate
  • Holism and reductionism
  • Idiographic and nomothetic approaches
  • Ethical implications of research studies

Approaches in Psychology (Global explanations of human behaviour)

  • Origins of Psychology
  • Learning approaches
  • The cognitive approach
  • The biological approach
  • The psychodynamic approach
  • Humanistic Psychology
  • Comparison of approaches

Romantic Relationships

  • The evolutionary explanations for partner preferences, including the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour
  • Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships (e.g. psychical attraction and self-disclosure)
  • Theories of romantic relationships
  • Virtual relationships in social media (e.g. relationships via the internet)
  • Parasocial relationships (e.g. one-sided relationships such as being a fan of a singer)

Schizophrenia

  • Classification of schizophrenia
  • Biological explanations for schizophrenia
  • Psychological explanations for schizophrenia
  • Drug therapies
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy
  • Interactionist approach

Forensic Psychology

  • Building up a personality profile for crimes
  • Psychological explanations of why people commit crimes
  • Biological explanations of why people commit crimes
  • The effectiveness of prison sentences
  • The effectiveness of non-prison sentences (e.g. restorative justice)

Examinations

There are three examinations at the end of Year 13

Each is worth 33% of the full A Level

Specification 

Please click here for the AQA A Level Psychology specification

Exam Support

Advice

Use the AQA website link below, use past papers, mark schemes, examiners reports. Access Google classroom.

Write up notes and make revision cards and mind-maps as you learn. Don’t allow yourself to get behind

Past papers

Please click here for the A Level Psychology specimen papers, past papers and AQA resources

Careers

Potential Careers:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Occupational Psychologist
  • Educational Psychologist, Counsellor
  • Health Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Sport Psychologist

Also useful for Careers in business, marketing, education, the police, nursing and health related fields.

 

Extra-curricular

Clubs

Psychology Film Club

Criminology Society 

Trips and Visits

Guest speakers and trips T.B.C.