Quick Links

Quick Links

A-Level Psychology

Examination Board : AQA

Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychologists study how people feel, act and think. To find out more about the subject, explore the British Psychological Society research digest:  http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.co.uk/   

Studying Psychology A-Level will develop skills in the analysis and interpretation of a wide variety of research evidence.

All universities accept A-Level Psychology, with most counting it as a science ‘A’ level. It has a wide variety of applications including clinical psychology, educational psychology, counselling, human resource management, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, teaching, sports studies, occupational psychology, criminology, careers in the police force and armed services.

What level of prior knowledge, attainment and skills are required?

Level 6 or more in Maths, English and a Science.

Psychology will suit students who are curious about behaviour and would enjoy studying a scientific subject that has lots of relevant applications to life.

Psychology fits well with any other subject you might choose to study at A-Level, because it has elements in common with the Humanities and Scientific or technical subjects.

What does the course cover and how is it structured?

A-Level syllabus content - Compulsory Topics

Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology, Approaches in psychology, Biopsychology,   Research methods, Issues and Debates in psychology

Optional Topics

The options are chosen by staff.  The current options choices are underlined:

Option 1: One from: Relationships, Gender, Cognition and development

Option 2: One from: Schizophrenia, Eating behaviour, Stress

Option 3: One from:  Aggression, Forensic psychology, Addiction

How is the course assessed?

Paper One: Introductory topics in Psychology

  • Content covered; Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology
  • 2 hours long, and 33% of A-Level

 Paper Two: Psychology in context

  • Content covered; Approaches, Biopsychology, Research methods,
  • 2 hours long, and 33% of A-Level

 Paper Three: Issues and Options in Psychology

  • Content covered; 3 of the optional subjects above with one taken from each group, Issues and Debates in psychology
  • 2 hours long and 33% of A-Level

How can families help?

Remember to ask 'What have you been learning in Psychology today?’ This will give students the chance to rehearse the many new ideas they will be encountering in Psychology. The topical nature of Psychology lends itself to discussion.

Families can also help by encouraging students to establish good private study habits from the start of the Sixth Form, as these are a key indicator for success and provide greater enjoyment of the course, which is content heavy.