Exam board: AQA

Course Description 

Our aim in psychology is to enable students to be able to comprehend a wide range of psychological theory with the ability to critically analyse them.  There is also a practical element to psychology where students will be expected to plan conduct and analyse their own psychological research. This will enable students to deepen their understanding of how science plays an important role in psychology.

Students will be expected to work in small groups to prepare presentations and to conduct investigations, but will also be expected to work autonomously on research and essay writing tasks.

To improve their understanding of psychological concepts and how they play a role in human interaction it is important that the students broaden their reading from their textbook. Students should complete extra reading throughout their course that gives detailed examples of Psychological theory at work in real life.

A Level Psychology

Paper 1:  Introductory Topics in Psychology
2 hours written exam 33.3% of the A level, 96 marks

  • Social Influence – exploring what research has shown us about whether people conform and obey and what makes them do this; explaining why some people don’t conform and in what situations people don’t obey.
  • Memory – studying the models of memory that have been suggested by psychologists; investigating why we forget; applying our knowledge to eyewitness testimony and its accuracy.
  • Attachment – reflecting on the relationship between babies and their caregivers, in particular their mothers; explaining why attachments are necessary and how they form.
  • Psychopathology- a consideration of how abnormality is defined, and how different perspectives explain and treat disorders, including phobias, depression and OCD

Paper 2:  Psychology in Context
2 hours written exam, 33.3% of the A level, 96 marks

  • Approaches in Psychology – comparing and contrasting the different views found in psychology, for example biological psychologists, vs humanist psychologists, vs cognitive psychologists.
  • Biopsychology – Identifying key features of the human body, such as the central nervous system and the endocrine system, as well as looking at the fundamental structures of the brain; understanding how our physiology is of importance in psychology.
  • Research Methods ­– learning how psychologists conduct research and carrying out practical research of our own.

Paper 3:  Issues and Options in Psychology
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of full A-level, 96 marks

  • Issues and Debates in Psychology ­– developing an understanding of the key issues and debates in psychology, such as the nature-nurture debate, culture bias, and gender bias.
  • One from:  Relationships; Gender; Cognition and Development – At Loxford we have chosen ‘gender’’ where we will consider the gender spectrum, stereotyping, and  the different influences on gender development
  • One from:  Schizophrenia; Eating Behaviour; Stress.  At Loxford we have chosen ‘schizophrenia’, where we will investigate the nature of schizophrenia, as well as comparing possible explanations and treatments.
  • One from:  Aggression; Forensic Psychology:  Addiction.  At Loxford  we have chosen ‘forensic psychology’, where we will learn about ways in which crime is measured, factors that lead to criminal behavior, and rehabilitation and recidivism.

Congratulations to all A Level students

97% A*-D

Best of luck in your future pursuits and well done on all the hard work

Psychology is a social science that offers students the opportunity to investigate the motivations behind the human mind. Through the study of Psychology A Level, students develop knowledge and understanding of key psychological concepts, theories and studies. Students also develop the skills of analysis and evaluation, which they will demonstrate in essay writing, as well as knowledge of how psychologists conduct their research and the ethical issues involved in this.  Psychologists at Loxford will cover a range of topics including memory, attachment, social influence, and abnormality.

Psychology is useful in a wide range of careers as it equips you with the ability to understand people and behaviours, as well as developing critical and communicative skills which are useful in a range of environments and occupations.  Studying psychology also helps develop practical maths skills, including understanding graphs and interpreting statistical analyses.  Psychology students are desirable employees because they have both language and numerical skills.

The most common careers in psychology include:

  • Counselling psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Health psychologist
  • Mental health worker
  • Sport psychologist
  • Occupational psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Research and Teaching