Exam Board: AQA    Duration: 2 years    Entry Requirements: Grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics, Grade 5 in GCSE English Language or Grade 5 in GCSE English Literature.

Reasons to study A Level Psychology

What is memory and how does it work? Is attachment in infants associated solely with identifying someone as being the source of food? Why are some people easily influenced by their peers, and yet others find peer-pressure easy to resist? These are some of the questions which students will investigate while studying Psychology.

Psychology is the study of the workings of the human mind and how psychologists have interpreted them. The aim of Psychology is to use scientific methods to investigate an enormous range of phenomena: learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, personality and social behaviour, intelligence, child development, and mental illness.

Course Outline

Introductory Topics: Social influence; memory; attachment; research methods in context;

Psychology in context: biopsychology; approaches in psychology; psychopathology and research methods.

Eating behaviour: Evolutionary explanations for food preferences; neural and hormonal influences; biological explanations for anorexia nervosa; psychological explanations for anorexia nervosa; biological explanations for obesity; psychological explanations for obesity.

Aggression: Neural, hormonal and genetic mechanisms in aggression; The ethological and evolutionary explanations of aggression; Social psychological explanations of human aggression; Institutional aggression in the context of prisons: dispositional and situational explanations; media influences on aggression, including the effects of computer games; The role of desensitisation, disinhibition and cognitive priming

Issues and Options in Psychology: Gender and culture in psychology – universality and bias; free will and determinism: hard determinism and soft determinism; The nature-nurture debate; Holism and reductionism: levels of explanation in psychology; idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation; ethical implications of research studies and theory.

Cognition: Theories of cognitive development including: Piaget’s theory and Vygotsky’s theory. Explanation of early infant abilities. The development of social cognition. Theory of mind as an explanation for autism. The role of the mirror neuron system in social cognition.

Assessment Outline

Paper 1 Introductory Topics in Psychology: written exam (2 hours) and is worth 33.3% of the A Level.

Paper 2 Psychology in Context: written exam (2 hours) and is worth 33.3% of the A Level.

Paper 3 Issues and Opinions in Psychology: written exam (2 hours) and is worth 33.3% of the A Level.

Progression Routes and Career Paths

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counsellor
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Health Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Behavioural Analyst
  • HR Specialist
  • Social Worker
  • Child Psychologist
  • Psychology Teacher
  • Rehabilitation Specialist

The Romero’s Psychology Department

Teaching of the highest quality by an experienced A Level Psychology specialist.

The addition of a Head of Social Sciences to be appointed in the Spring term 2024.

A range of extension and enrichment activities to bring the course to life.

Opportunities for work related learning and experience throughout the course.

Further Information

For more information or if you have any questions about the A Level Psychology course please contact:

Mr P Byrne – Headteacher and Course Leader [email protected]