What specification is proposed?

AQA Psychology


What will I be covering in the course?

Year 12 Course (AS)

Unit 1 - Introductory topics in psychology

Social influence - examines why people conform and obey others and how society changes its viewpoint

Memory - investigates research into how memory works and investigates how memory is used in everyday life eg in eyewitness testimony

Attachment - examines how children develop attachments with others and the effects of deprivation and separation from carers.  you will also look at the effect early attachment has on later relationships


Unit 2 - Psychology in context

Approaches in Psychology - studies the origins of Psychology and the basic assumptions of the Learning approaches, cognitive approaches and biological approach

Biopsychology - examines the biological aspects to human behaviour by studying systems such as the nervous system, endocrine system and the various functions of the brain.

Psychopathology - examines what is considered to be abnormal and explains the causes and treatments of behaviours such as phobias, depression and OCD

Research Methods - looks at the techniques used to design and conduct psychological experiments.  You will also look at how data from experiments is analysed


Year 13 Course (A2)

The following content will be examined during Year 13:

Biopsychology - which invesitgates ways of studying the brain, localisation and functions of the brain and biological rhythms

Issues and debates in Psychology - explores the arguments that surround issues such as gender and culture in psychology, the free will versus determinism debate, the nature versus nurture debate, holism versus reductionism and ethics

Relationships – considers topics such as why we are attracted to certain people, theories into why relationships form and break down, theories of human reproductive behaviour and the psychology surrounding virtual relationships and parasocial relationships

Schizophrenia – the study of the clinical characteristics, the biological and psychological explanations and therapies involved in this disorder

Aggression - looks at the various explanations of where aggressive behaviour comes from.  Is it biologically based?  A product of evolution?  Or something we learn to do?  The influence of the media on aggression is also studied

Approaches - explores the psychodynamic approach and the humanistic approach and compares all the approaches learnt at both AS and A2

Research methods - which cover inferential statistics, ways of assessing reliability and validity, features of science and other relevant content to enable a psychological report to be written well


How will I be assessed?

The AS component will initially be examined via two 90 minute papers in the summer of the first year.  Each paper is worth 50% of the final AS mark.
If the subject is taken to AS level, then there will be three papers, each lasting two hours.  The whole of the content of your AS and A2 Psychology studies will be examined over these three papers.

All of the papers will consist of structured compulsory questions based on the aspects of the specification covered.  Questions will include a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended essay style questions.


How will I be taught?

The subject is taught through lectures, group-work, practicals, research, discussions, presentations and role-play.  As you study Psychology, you will begin to understand the factors that affect your behaviour, you will learn about yourself and why you do the things you do.  It can teach you about the ways people interact in social situations and give you a better understanding of your own feelings and attitudes.  You will also learn techniques to help you study more effectively.


What can I do with this subject?

Psychology is becoming integrated ever more into a broad range of careers.  A Level Psychology is highly regarded by most university courses and will even count as a Science at some.  The study of Psychology also provides relevant training for further study or work in Social work, advertising, personnel management, business, bursing, sales, the police force, career guidance and market research - in other words any job that involves interacting with people.
To become a 'Chartered' Psychologist you need to gain a Psychology degree and follow further professional study.  Areas of employment then include Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Psychotherapy, Occupational Psychology and applied research.