Psychology AS/A Level

Psychology AS/A Level

The AS course provides a general introduction to Psychology which is the scientific study of human behaviour and experience. You will develop knowledge, understanding and skills of analysis in relation to a variety of topics commencing with the main psychological approaches to explaining human behaviour.

Topics include social influence, biological psychology, cognitive psychology involving memory, developmental psychology involving caregiver-infant attachments and psychopathology involving the causes and treatments of mental illness. In addition there is a significant component on Research Methods covering how psychologists conduct research and analyse data. Within the linear A level course the study of human biology has now become a much greater component along with increasing focus upon statistics. All topics are examined within a scientific framework and students will learn how to perform different types of data analysis including 8 statistical tests. This significant statistical component involves students learning how to plan and conduct their own research and write scientific reports following the analysis of data. In addition the course includes the same topics as the AS course but in greater detail due to the greater depth required in assessment. Further topics such as gender development, aggression, Schizophrenia and current debates within Psychology are covered during the second year. Students who prefer scientific oriented subjects and have achieved good grades in science, particularly Biology, at GCSE are likely to enjoy and succeed in psychology.

Additional
GCSE in Maths, English and two Sciences at grade 4. At least one of the sciences at grade 5 would be preferable.
Assessment
AS Psychology: Two 90 minute exams covering one years content with questions consisting of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. A level Psychology: Three 2 hour exams covering two years content with questions consisting of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.
Progression
AS and A Level Psychology is taken by students doing a wide range of other subjects, but is perhaps especially suited to students with a preference for more analytical subjects such as Maths, Science and History. Students of Psychology go on to do a wide range of courses and careers, with Psychology now being a very popular choice of course in Higher Education. A qualification in Psychology may be relevant to a number of different career options including: market research, advertising, social work, teaching, nursing, the police service and personnel management.