Psychology

Psychology students learn about social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences.

At AS Level, students study a variety of issues including : stress, memory and conformity and obedience.

Throughout the course, students study a variety of scientific research methods linked to the topics and also get the chance to use these methods designing research projects.

Psychology is a popular subject and every year many students go on to study Psychology at university, often returning at times to assist in or observe lessons.

Assessment at AS Level is exam-based. Each module is worth 50% of the total AS marks, and there are 2 units. Each AS Level unit is worth 25% of the total A2 mark.

AS Level

Unit 1 – Cognitive and Developmental and Research Method Psychology 

  • Cognitive psychology, including memory and eyewitness testimony
  • Developmental psychology, including early social development, attachment and the effects of day care
  • Research methods, in the context of the topic areas 

Unit 2 – Physiological Psychology, Individual Differences and Social Psychology

  • Biological psychology, including stress, factors affecting stress, coping with stress and managing stress
  • Social psychology, including majority and minority influence, obedience and independent behaviour
  • Individual differences, including definitions of abnormality, approaches and therapies

A2 Level

Students build on their knowledge and explore contemporary issues such as relationships, gender and aggression. Assessment at A2 Level is exam-based and there are 2 units. Each A2 Level unit is worth 25% of the total A-Level mark.
Throughout the course, students study a variety of scientific research methods linked to the topics and also get the chance to use these methods designing research projects. The specification offers a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different psychological approaches and engage students in issues and debates in psychology.

Unit 3 – Social and Comparative Psychology

  • Relationships, including the formation/maintenance and breakdown of relationships, and relationships in different cultures
  • Aggression, including biological and social explanations of aggressive behaviour
  • Gender, including issues related to biological sex and gender identity

Unit 4 – Psychopathology and Debates in Psychology

  • Psychopathology - knowledge and understanding of models, classification, diagnosis and therapies in relation to depression
  • Psychology in action - one contemporary issue which is the psychology of addictive behaviour
  • Psychological research and scientific method
  • Psychologists currently work in areas as diverse as:
  • Education – Educational Psychologists
  • Lecturing and research
  • Law – Forensic Psychology
  • Counselling
  • Management – Occupational Psychology
  • Journalism – research and advice
  • Advertising – marketing
  • Human Resources – Occupational Psychology
  • Health/Sports Psychology and Clinical Psychology