Exam Board Specification: AQA
How the course is assessed
100% externally assessed:
AS Level: 2 examinations
A Level: 3 examinations
Description of course
Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. Psychology is a broad subject with many theories of why humans behave in certain ways. In this course you will learn about different psychological approaches and develop the ability to critically analyse their assumptions and the research that is used to support or refute them. Within the AS or the first year of A Level you will study: social influence, memory, attachment, psychological approaches with biopsychology, psychopathology and research methods. Within the second year of A Level you will study: psychological approaches, biopsychology and research methods at a higher level, issues and debates in psychology and then three of the following topics: relationships, cognitive development, gender, schizophrenia, eating behaviour, stress, aggression, forensic psychology and addiction.
Higher education, future careers and progression routes
Students will develop transferable skills that both support study in a wide range of subjects at university and the transition to employment, including quantitative and analytical analysis and forming and testing hypotheses. The development and application of mathematical skills prepare students for the study of psychology and related courses at university. Students can progress from A Level Psychology to: higher education qualifications such as degrees in Psychology, Neuroscience, Human Biology, Criminology and others or further education courses such as BTEC Higher Nationals. Qualifications in psychology are useful to develop a career in: teaching, youth work, careers advice, human resources, market research, psychotherapy, social work or the police force. Students who go on to gain a psychology degree can further develop a career within clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, occupational, sport or media psychology.
2016 Examination success rates:
96% pass rate
49% A*- B grades
72% A* - C grades
Students must meet the Consortium minimum entry criteria for A Level courses, that is, a GCSE grade 5 and above in English and Maths, as well as a minimum of GSCE grade C’s and B’s (point score of 41.5).
For A Level Psychology a grade B or above in Biology is preferable.
Psychology is a subject that requires skills you would have developed from GCSE English, maths and science. In order to be prepared for the course you will need:
Prior to starting the course students should also access the following website to gain more information about the topics that will be studied: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology-7181-7182
It is fundamental that psychology students read around the subject; the following books are suggested to enhance students’ psychological understanding:
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