A Level | Psychology

A Level in Psychology

Exam Board:  AQA     

Will this course suit me?

You will need to have an interest in human behaviour and thinking and be able to take a scientific approach to your studies. To do well in the subject you need to be able to construct arguments in essays and evaluate theories and research studies.

Course description

Year 1:  This covers some key foundations in psychology including Approaches in Psychology; the main explanations of why we behave and think in the way we do, some Biopsychology of how our genes, nervous and endocrine systems influence behaviour and Research methods; how do psychologists carry out their research and analyse the data? Students also learn about Social influence; how do other people affect our behaviour? Memory; what can our memory do and why we forget things? Attachment; how and why do we bond with our caregivers and what happens if we do not? And Psychopathology; what is abnormal? What are Phobias, Depression and OCD? What causes these disorders and how do we treat them?

Year 2:  Students build on their knowledge of Approaches with the Psychodynamic and Humanistic approaches. More Biopsychology is covered with Biorhythms and Brain structure and in Research Methods students learn about inferential statics and designing studies. New topics are taken with Schizophrenia; what are the symptoms, what causes it and how is it treated? Gender; what makes us identify with a particular gender? How does that gender identity develop? Forensic Psychology; how do we measure crime, what causes people to commit crimes, what can we do to stop it? And students finally study Issues and debates in Psychology; what are some of the key issues that psychologists argue about?

Benefits of the course

Studying Psychology develops a wide range of transferable skills that will be of benefit to all other subjects. These skills include carrying out research, analysing data and constructing arguments in essays. Psychology combines well with most other subjects due its nature of containing aspects that are theoretical and also those that are much more scientific.

Future opportunities

Many students choose to continue their studies in Psychology at university level or take associated courses. An A Level in Psychology will also be extremely useful for those considering careers in medicine or health care, sciences, law, business and media.

Benefits of the course

Studying psychology helps learners develop a broad range of transferable skills in being able to carry out and analyse research studies, critical evaluate theories and sound knowledge of factors that influence human behaviour.


Paper 1Social influence, Memory, Attachment & Psychopathology2 hour exam


Multiple choice, short answer questions, extended writing questions
Paper 2Approaches, Biopsychology Research methods (double topic)2 hour exam


Multiple choice, short answer questions, extended writing questions
Paper 3Schizophrenia, Forensic psychology, Gender, Issues & debates2 hour exam


Multiple choice, short answer questions, extended writing questions


Head of Department: Claire Gulliver


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