Psychology (AQA)

Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour. The discipline of Psychology embraces all aspects of the human experience – from the functions of the brain to the environments in which humans and other animals develop; from child development to aging. Psychology is a science based on a large body of social science and behavioural science research. Psychologists study two critical relationships: one between brain function and behaviour, and one between the environment and behaviour. As scientists, psychologists follow scientific methods, using careful observation, experimentation and analysis to learn more about the world in which we live and its inhabitants.

A Level
Unit 1 – Introductory topics in Psychology

  • Social Influence, Memory, Attachment: As Unit 1 AS, with more depth
  • Psychopathology: Definitions of abnormality, characteristics of phobias, depression and OCD, behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias, cognitive approach to explain and treating depression, biological approach to explaining and treating OCD.

Assessment: Written exam, 2 hours, 1/3rd of A Level

Unit 2 – Psychology in context

  • Approaches to Psychology: As Unit 2 AS, with more depth
  • Biopsychology: The nervous systems, structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons, the function of the endocrine system, the fight or flight response, localisation and function of key brain areas, ways of studying the brain, biological rhythms and their impact on the sleep cycle.
  • Research methods: As Unit 2 AS, with more depth

Assessment: Written exam, 2 hours, 1/3rd of A Level

Unit 3 Issues and options in Psychology

  • Issues and debates in psychology: Gender and cultural bias, Free Will and determinism, The nature/nurture debate, holism and reductionism. Idiographic and nomothetic approaches, ethical implications.
  • Three of the following topics (chosen by teachers) Relationships, Gender, Cognition, Schizophrenia, Eating behaviour, Stress, Aggression, Forensic Psychology, Addiction.

Assessment: Written exam, 2 hours, 1/3rd of A Level

Minimum Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including grade 4/4 in Double Science or at least 2 x grade 4 in Triple Science.

Updated January 2019