Psychology

Contact: Miss L Richardson

Psychology is a popular AS and A-level option in which students learn the fundamentals of the subject including key theoretical approaches, research methods and their application to human behaviour such as conformity, obedience and psychopathology.  Students who study psychology develop valued skills such as critical analysis, communication, independent thinking and research.

The subject is taught by one sixth form teacher and consists of two year 12 classes and two year 13 classes.  Students are encouraged to participate in critical discussion and engage in wider reading to consolidate their knowledge and understanding as well as to explore the wide application of psychology to everyday life. 

The first year of AS psychology examination results, under the old specification, have formed a strong foundation for the student’s final A-level grade. Of 42 entries 21.7% achieved A/B, 52.2% achieved A-C and there was a 93.5% overall pass rate of A-E grades.

All psychology specifications have been redesigned by Ofqual, for first teaching in 2015, to include a greater emphasis on research and mathematical skills.  At least 10% of the overall assessment of psychology will contain mathematical skills equivalent to level 2 or above and At least 25–30% of the overall assessment will assess skills, knowledge and understanding in relation to research methods

The department follows the AQA (7181, 7182) syllabuses for AS and A-level psychology.

AS Psychology (AQA)

Two Units:  Introductory Topics in Psychology and Psychology in Context

Both papers consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. They are both 1 hour and 30 minutes long, with 72 marks available. Each paper constitutes 50% of the AS grade.

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology (Unit 7181/1)

Social Influence
Memory
Attachment

Paper 2: Psychology in Context (Unit 7181/2)

Approaches in Psychology
Psychopathology
Research Methods

A-level Psychology (AQA)

Three Units: Introductory Topics in Psychology, Psychology in Context, and Issues and Options in Psychology.

All three papers consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. They are all 2 hours long, with 96 marks available. Each paper constitutes 33% of the A-level grade.

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

Social Influence
Memory
Attachment
Psychopathology

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

Approaches
Biopsychology
Research Methods

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

Issues and Debates in Psychology
Optional Content - Three topics: one topic from each option block.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Relationships

Gender

Cognition and development

Schizophrenia

Eating behaviour

Stress

Aggression

Forensic Psychology

Addiction

Enrichment Opportunities

Student’s have the opportunity to support their learning by attending study support after school in which they can discuss, and review, key topics and skills in psychology with their class teacher and peers.

Enrichment opportunities in the past have included a visit to the Institute of Education to listen to experts in the field of psychology lecture on a range of topics such as the adolescent brain, how our brains conjure up the supernatural and obedience.

Parental support and useful resources to support learning

Students are expected to complete 4-5 hours of independent study in psychology a week.  You can support your child by encouraging reading, writing and discussion about the course.

The core textbooks all have ‘assessment’ and ‘check-it’ questions linked to all the topics.  A good activity to encourage your child to do is to read the relevant pages of the textbook and then write answers to the questions into their notes. 

The core textbooks used in Year 1 and AS psychology are:

Title: AQA Psychology for A-level (Year 1 and AS)
Authors: Cara Flanagan, Dave Berry, Matt Jarvis, Rob Liddle
Publisher: Illuminate Publishing 
ISBN-13: 978-1-908682-40-6 

And/or

Title: AQA Psychology for Year 1 and AS
Authors: Jean-Marc Lawton and Eleanor Willard 
Publisher: Hodder Education
ISBN-13: 978-1-4718-3488

The core textbooks used in Year 2 A-level psychology are:

Title: AQA Psychology for A-level: Year 2
Authors: Cara Flanagan, Dave Berry, Matt Jarvis, Rob Liddle 
Publisher: Illuminate Publishing 
ISBN-13: 978-1-908682-41-3 

And/or

Title: AQA A-level Psychology 2
Authors: Jean-Marc Lawton and Eleanor Willard 
Publisher: Hodder Education 
ISBN-13: 978-1-4718-3537-7 

Additional Resources

In addition to the core textbooks your child should be seeking out additional resources to consolidate their knowledge and understanding.  Some ideas for general resources are shown below.

Books

Author

ISBN

Theoretical approaches in psychology

Matt Jarvis

978-0415191081

Themes, issues and debates in psychology (4th ed.)

Richard Gross

978-1471804076

 

Key studies in psychology (6th ed.)

Richard Gross

978-1444156102

Research methods companion

Cara Flanagan

978-0198356134

Oxford Revision Guides: AS & A-level psychology through diagrams

Grahame Hill

978-0199180943

 

 

Websites

Topic

Useful for:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology-7181-7182

AQA

Links to psychology specification including ‘assessment’ materials (exemplar and past paper questions with mark schemes)

http://www.simplypsychology.org/

Various

Offers a nice simple overview of the approaches with key studies and one or two ideas for critically discussing the approach.

 

http://www.psychlotron.org.uk/newResources/perspCognitive.html

Various

This is a website targeted at teachers but is very accessible to students with handouts and power points on various topics.

 

Teaching resources are mapped to old specifications, but many are still useful.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks?sort=newest&q=psychology

Ted Talks

Offers links to engaging speakers talking about a range of topics.

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