Ever wondered why you are the way you are, or other people behave the way they do? Psychology A Level will help you to understand yourself and other people much better. It is a subject that tries to get to the bottom of what you are like and why you behave in certain ways. It is more precisely the “scientific study of the human mind and human behaviour”.
All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs at grade C or above (grade 5 or above) in academic subjects, including GCSE English Language, of which two must be B grades (grade 6). In addition, you must have Maths at grade C (grade 5) or higher, plus Double Science at CC or Psychology at C or above (grade 5 or above) or Level 2 BTEC Applied Science at Merit or above.
AS Level (Year 1):
Topic 1: Social and cognitive psychology
Social psychology is about aspects of human behaviour that involve the individual’s relationship to other persons, groups and society, including cultural influences on behaviour.
Cognitive psychology is about the role of cognition/cognitive processes in human behaviour. Processes include perception, memory, selective attention, language and problem solving.
Topic 2: Biological psychology and learning theories
Biological psychology is about the mechanisms within our body and how they affect our behaviour, specifically focusing on aggression. Learning theories are about learning from the environment and the effects of conditioning, reinforcement, punishment, the role of reward and social learning on the organism.
A Level (Year 2)
Paper 1: Foundations in Psychology. Topics include Social psychology, Cognitive psychology, Biological psychology, Learning theories and Issues & Debates.
Paper 2: Applications of Psychology. Topics include:
• Clinical psychology: explaining and treating mental health issues, and the different ways of treating them, including counselling and drug treatments.
• Child Psychology: the development of the individual from before birth to adolescence and beyond, in that what we experience as children affects our later development.
Paper 3: Psychological skills. Topics covered are: Methods, Synoptic Review of Studies & Issues and debates. This is a synoptic section in which students will be asked to draw on topics 1- 6 to develop a general knowledge of key issues and debates.
You take five exams, two for AS and three for A2, which include a mixture of short answer questions and essay questions.
Students who have studied Psychology A Level often go on to study it at university or choose a related degree such as criminology, sociology or teaching.
Psychology is very useful for any career that involves working with people e.g. nursing, teaching, health, business. There are few areas of life where knowledge of psychology is not valuable.
Success Rates on courses for 16-18 year-olds nearly 7% better than national average*