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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

Psychology A Level


Exam board; AQA

Why study this subject:

Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour, and the brain.  It aims to provide an understanding of why human animals behave the way they do.  Psychologists use the same methods of conducting research as other Scientists, such as experiments, in a bid to find out about human behaviour.  It looks at a very broad range of issues and perspectives (Cognitive, Biological, Developmental, Social, Individual Differences and Psychodynamic). You should study Psychology if you are interested in why humans behave the way they do and have a keen interest in Science and the Scientific method.  Psychologists are interested in the different elements that influence and determine human behaviour, including arguments of nature and nurture.   Students need to have a good understanding and interest in Mathematics and if possible completed the higher tier GCSE exam.  An understanding of the mathematics of correlations, levels of significance, standard deviation, measures of central tendency and tests of statistical significance including both parametric and non-parametric.   Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher  Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.


Unit 1:    Introductory Topics in Psychology (Social influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology).  Unit 2: Psychology in Context (Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology and Research methods).  Unit 3: Issues and Options in Psychology (Issues and debates in Psychology, Cognition and Development, Schizophrenia and Addiction).

How will I be assessed:

All exams are taken at the end of your second year (year 13)

Unit 1: 2 hour exam, 96 marks, worth 33.3% of overall A’ level

Unit 2: 2 hour exam, 96 marks, worth 33.3% of overall A’ level

Unit 3: 2 hour exam, 96 marks, worth 33.3% of overall A’ level

Future course and possible careers:

Psychology is such a varied A’ Level which gives students a wide range of knowledge and skills.  Psychology has many transferable skills including; numeracy and scientific skills, the ability work independently and in groups, conduct research, communicate effectively and interpret, analyse and evaluate material, giving you a competitive edge in the job market and higher education.  Possible career options include; Being a psychologist (specialising in many areas from children to forensics), Administration, Business, Health and Welfare services, Journalism, Public Relations, Police, Research, Education, Civil Service and Government.