Link to OFSTED Report
Psychology AQA Advanced GCE

Psychology is the scientific investigation of human behaviour and should appeal to those who are fascinated by discovering why people behave as they do. It is a strongly vocational subject with a wide variety of career options available: educational, occupational, forensic and clinical Psychology (child or adult specialism), as well as counselling, and laboratory and field based research of various kinds. A Psychology qualification may also be used to access a range of other employment fields such as management in business and industry, police, teaching, journalism and media, social work, and human resources. Psychology is a very popular degree course, and the A Level offers an excellent foundation to a wide range of topics and contemporary issues.

Psychology has been classified as a science, reflecting its strong research element, as well as the sophisticated statistical analysis developed in pupils throughout the A Level course. Various innovative teaching and learning methods are employed, including role-play to replicate famous psychological experiments, and detailed individual examination of the latest university based research to inform group presentations. There will be many opportunities for class discussion as well as assessment based on short answer and longer essay style questions. Students have the opportunity to learn how to analyse arguments and evidence, test hypotheses and make informed judgments – all skills valued by Higher Education institutions and employers. There is no coursework, and final assessment is by written examination.

  A LEVEL EXAMINATION: - 2 hour Examination for each paper WEIGHTING
P1 Introductory Topics in Psychology: Relationships, Aggression and Eating Behaviour:
Social Influence, Memory and Attachment, Psychopathology, a mix of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, each topic worth 24 marks (96 marks total). The introductory topics offer a range of fascinating explanations for everyday behaviours including Conformity and Obedience.
Four topics to be assessed by essay, which will include an appreciation of issues and debates relevant to each topic studied: for example, Issues of Bias, including Gender and Culture, the Role of Animals in Research, Ethical Issues, the Nature/Nurture Debate, Free Will and Reterminism and Reductionism. Assessment is a mix of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.
P2 Psychology in Context: Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods, Issues and Debates:
This paper includes the study of Biological Rhythms, such as those involved in sleeping, and draws on the important crossover between neuroscience and Psychology. The strong element of research methods includes opportunities for practical work, which enables pupils to carry out their own investigations. Assessment is a mix of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.
P3 Issues and Options in Psychology: Relationships, Schizophrenia, Aggression:
Topics such as Why we Choose Certain Relationships, Symptoms and Treatment of Schizophrenia and Explanations of Aggression are covered as well as learning competing Psychological explanations, the course enables pupils to engage in contemporary issues and debates in Psychology, such as the NHS funding policy for mental health.

Pupils will have the opportunity to attend one conference per year in London, which costs approximately £20 plus travel. ‘Psychology Review’ magazines are available at a reduced rate subscription for pupils of approximately £14.

Pupils could take this course to complement other advanced level courses such as a science or to prepare for higher education, studying Psychology as a degree or more general higher education courses. There is a wide variety of career options open to the Psychology pupil, such as: education, occupational therapy, forensics, clinical science, child psychology, counselling and research of various kinds. A Psychology qualification may also be used to access a range of other employment fields such as: management, police, teaching, journalism and media, social work, personnel and human resources. Pupils could also go straight into a job as the GCE is a recognised qualification that will encourage the exploration of the analytical mind and the development of the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers are looking for.

Also see related pages: Curriculum and Prospectus