Psychology

Psychology is not about being able to read someone’s mind. It encompasses so much more.

Subject Type: A Level
Details of Exam Board: AQA
Entry Requirements:

5 GCSEs, grade 4 or above. Minimum GCSE grade 5 (or equivalent) in English Language (but preferably a grade 6) as well as a grade 5 in Maths and a grade 6 in Biology (or Science).

Last three years destinations:
  • BA (Hons) in Psychology at Leeds University
  • BA (Hons) in Psychology at Manchester University
  • BA (Hons) in Psychology at Nottingham University

When studying Psychology students will address and question serious issues that shape our society and our everyday lives including; Why do people obey or disobey authority? How are memories formed, stored and retrieved? Why do we forget information? How do we form attachments with others? What makes some people ‘different’?

The course is all about studying the human mind and how the mind may affect behaviour in the real world. It is a great opportunity to study and discuss things that are experienced in everyday life and gain a better understanding of these. Including examining things like depression and anxiety, dementia and gender identity issues. The skills and knowledge you will gain studying these things will not only get you a great qualification at the end of the two years, which can open many doors in the future, but it is also a rare chance to engage with topics that you may never have even thought about before.

Course Aims

Students will have the opportunity to study topics that they would have never experienced before including forensic psychology, schizophrenia and gender. Allowing students to question and critically evaluate fundamental questions which are commonly addressed within the media such as; Is our behaviour a result of nature or nurture? How can we characterise criminals? Are criminals born or made? How and why do people develop schizophrenia? How do we become male or female? Is this a result of our biology and genes or our environmental influences?

If you are interested in human nature and discovering what makes us who we are today psychology is for you.

Progression

Psychology is a popular subject which is attractive to students because it develops a range of valuable skills, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. These skills are particularly relevant to young people and are transferable to further study and the workplace.

An A level in psychology can provide you with a solid grounding for many different careers including; neurological psychology, investigating the brain and damage to the brain, sport psychology, forensic psychology, counselling, social work, marketing, advertising and careers within research.

Exam

Assessment is entirely by examination and consists of three written papers at the end of Year 13, each out of 96 marks. All papers carry an equal weighing and count towards a third of the overall grade.

  • Paper 1 – Introductory Topics in Psychology; Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology is a 2 hour examination.
  • Paper 2 – Psychology in Context; Approaches in Psychology. Biopsychology and Research Methods is a 2 hour examination.
  • Paper 3 – Issues and Options in Psychology; Issues and debates, Gender, Schizophrenia, and Forensic Psychology is a 2 hour examination.