Specification: AQA

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is the study of the mind and reasons for behaviour.  Psychologists use scientific methods to study humans and animals. The subject is very broad, ranging from physiological Psychology which studies how biology affects behaviour, to Social psychology which emphasises the effects of the social environment. The breadth of the subject means that it combines well with a wide variety of A Levels. There are clear links to areas of Biology, Health and Social Care, Sports Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, as well as connections to Media Studies, and History.

What will I study?

Year 1:

  • Methods used by Psychologists to investigate behaviour
  • Statistical analysis of data
  • Research into human memory
  • Our current understanding of mental health issues
  • The different branches of psychology; their preferred research method, preferred treatments and explanation for behaviour
  • Emotional attachments between babies and caregivers
  • The influence of other people on human behaviour
  • The field of biopsychology, which investigates human behaviour through the use of biological testing methods

Year 2:

The second year of the A level will build upon your understanding of each of the topics studied in Year 1, and will also introduce:

  • Debates that arise in Psychology regarding how to research behaviour and what drives behaviour.
  • Relationships, including cyber relationships
  • Stress, including causes of stress and the effects of stress on the body
  • Forensic Psychology, including criminal behaviour

How will I be assessed?

You will sit three exams at the end of your second year of the course.  These exams are comprised of a combination of short-answer questions and longer essay style questions, which focus on your ability to evaluate and analyse. There is no coursework.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a grade 4 in GCSE English, Maths and Science. There are no subject-specific requirements for entry

Course expenses

Students are asked to purchase a Year 1 textbook at a cost of £22 and a Year 2 textbook in Year 13 at a cost of £27. We try to buy back the books we sell, meaning that the students who buy their textbook at the very beginning of the course can pick up a second hand copy, often starting as cheap as £3.


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