Psychology A Level

Psychology goes beyond common sense to provide a more systematic understanding of behaviour.

Psychology is a science and according to (QCA, 2008) Qualifications and Curriculum Authority using expert judgment they found the assessment of psychology and Biology at A level were of equivalent difficulty.

Psychology is not an easy option but is a very broad and interesting subject. For example, we all like to think we understand people’s behaviour. We happily suggest reasons for aggressive or helping behaviour or for attraction between people and feel that we know what makes people do what they do. We like to make sense of people, including ourselves. But common sense can be contradictory – does “absence make the heart grow fonder” or is it a case of “out of sight, out of mind”? And common sense can lead to superficial or shallow explanations.

Psychology goes beyond “common sense” to provide a more systematic and profound understanding of behaviour, including explanations you may not have considered. In Psychology students will develop skills in forensic thinking required for research, evaluative skills required for essay writing and moral/ethical decision making. Furthermore they will develop a range of data skills, numeracy skills and literacy skills such as argument construction and presentation.

This course would suit students looking to study psychology (forensic, developmental, clinical or counselling), criminology, neuroscience, biomedical science or biology at university. As well as students who want to work in industries which having an understanding of human behaviour will be beneficial, such as business, human resources, the police force, social work and any managerial role

Psychology is a popular choice at Farnham and students do well on this course. Psychology covers a wide range of interesting subjects, for example Attachment and its links to day-care, memory and its links into Criminal Justice, Stress and Psychopathology and forensic psychology which looks at criminal profiling to name a few.

Component 1

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Component 2

  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research Methods

Component 3

  • Issues and Debates in Psychology
  • Option 1: Cognitive behaviour and development
  • Option 2: – Schizophrenia
  • Option3: Forensic psychology

Research, discussion, writing and reading. Homework: There will be regular mandatory assignments which will be set regularly and all students are expected to complete and hand in on a prearranged date.

Degrees in forensics, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, counselling psychology or combine psychology with other subjects such as criminology.

At least five GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, including Maths and English Language. In addition you should have a grade 6 (grade B) in a Science-based subject.

Books used during the course:

AQA Psychology for A Level (ISBN 9781908682405) additionally there is a charge of £40 for lesson booklets which contain all lessons taught and are a valuable resource for revision for exams, catching up with missed lessons and allows you to add your own notes to the lessons.

There are two psychology trips:

AS students go to London zoo to meet a clinical psychologist, who explains about the Zoo’s phobia clinic and students get the opportunity to take part in a group hypnosis session and meet the spider (cost £30).

A2 students go to Bedlam, the oldest mental institution, to see archive documents, restraints and art work; and to meet a psychologist working on the wards to discuss elements of what happens nowadays (cost £25).


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