A Level Psychology

Why study A Level Psychology?

Psychology is a very fascinating subject, which allows you to delve into the depths of the human mind. If you’ve ever pondered the reasons why people do the things they do, this is the course for you! Students who take psychology need a combination of curiosity and scepticism and need to enjoy research.

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour as such psychology centres around gaining understanding of the many facets of the human form. By studying Psychology A-Level you’ll be able to hone your analytical and organisational skills and learn about scientific research methods, including collecting and working with data. Learning about human behaviour can also help to build your communication skills and improve your teamwork and leadership skills. As part of the course you will get to plan and carry out your own piece of research which will involve analysis of data.

With the varied and interesting topics you will study comes a relatively heavy workload in terms of learning content from abstract theories to complex physiological terms. Analytical skills are required in order to evaluate theories with relevant research evidence, and then evaluate the methodology these studies are based on. The new, linear A Level places a high demand on scientific thinking with 40% of assessment marks coming from research methods and an appreciation of ‘How Science Works’ and 10% from Level 2 mathematics.

Entry requirements

Ideally you should achieve a grade B or above in GCSE Chemistry/ Biology/Physics (or BB double award science) and grade 6 in GCSE English and Maths.

Course overview:

Exam board: AQA Psychology A

Core units:

1 Social influence

2 Memory

3 Attachment

4 Psychopathology

5 Approaches in psychology

6 Biopsychology

7 Research methods

8 Issues and debates in psychology

 

Then optional units, one from each of the following options: (studied in 2nd year)

Option 1

9 Relationships

10 Gender

11 Cognition and development

Option 2

12 Schizophrenia 

13 Eating behaviour

14 Stress 

Option 3

15 Aggression

16 Forensic psychology

17 Addiction

 

Assessment overview:

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology

96 marks, 2 hours Written paper- units 1–4

33.3% of total A level

 

Paper 2: Psychology in context

96 marks, 2 hours Written paper –units 5-7

33.3% of total A level

 

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology

96 marks, 2 hours Written paper – unit 8 and one from option 1, 9–11, one from option 2, 12–14, one from option 3, 15–17

33.3% of total A level

Where can A-level Psychology take you?

By studying psychology you’ll be able to hone your analytical and organisational skills and learn about scientific research methods, including collecting and working with data. Learning about human behaviour can also help to build your communication skills and improve your teamwork and leadership skills.

Psychology is useful for any job that requires lots of interaction or an understanding of human behaviour and development. People with skills in psychology are sought after in business, management, teaching, research, social work and careers in medicine and healthcare.