Course specification: AQA: A Level 7182

Content of A Level

Image of a brainUnit 1 Introductory topics in Psychology

This unit includes: Social Influence, which delves into the psychology of obedience and conformity; Memory, which focuses on how memory works and issues in eye witness testimony; Attachment, especially looking at infants and carers with the real-life application of day care; and Psychopathology, which considers the causes of mental illnesses and their treatment.

Unit 2 Psychology in context

This unit includes: Approaches in Psychology, which looks at the different theoretical frameworks in which the study takes place; Biopsychology, exploring the biological mechanisms involved in psychological processes; and Research Methods, providing an introduction to carrying out psychological research.

Unit 3 Issues and options in Psychology

This unit introduces the Issues and Debates which run through psychological theory and research, and focuses on three topics in detail, which will be Gender, looking at biological and psychological bases of gender and how gender awareness develops in childhood; Eating Behaviour, exploring attitudes towards food, the biological basis of hunger and food preferences, and causes of and treatments for Anorexia Nervosa and obesity; and Addiction, concerning the biological and psychological precursors of addiction and its consequences.

Key skills

  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Secure mathematical skills
  • The ability to explain ideas carefully and in detail

Enrichment opportunities

  • Opportunity to plan and conduct your own
  • Psychology experiments
  • Opportunity to research and write an extended essay on a topic of choice
  • Opportunity to write articles for the Psychology department newsletter
  • Participation in Psychology club and PsychSoc

Higher Education and career prospects

Psychology A Level will provide you with a good basis from which to continue on to a Psychology degree. At many universities, Psychology can be studied as part of a dual Honours Degree, often being combined with other social sciences and Philosophy. Other Psychology-related degrees include Social Science, Law, humanities subjects and English Literature

Those who study Psychology A Level have a number of highly transferable skills: the ability to question and analyse written, graphical and statistical information; the ability to argue logically in well-structured written form; and the key skills of applying knowledge to novel situations. Psychology is useful in any job requiring understanding of human behaviour or customer service. It is also a route into explicit use of Psychology: Educational Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology.

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