Students studying the subject at A Level follow the AQA specification. During the course the following topics are covered.
|Year 12||Year 13|
Social Influence: Social conformity and the reasons behind it. The reasons why people obey authority figures in society.
Memory: The theories of the structure and functioning of memory and eye-witness testimony
Attachment: Looking at early social development and theories and stages of attachment
Biopsychology: Examining the role of the nervous system, the endocrine system and the fight/flight response,
Approaches: The emergence of the behavioural, cognitive and biological approach in Psychology, and their strengths and weaknesses.
Psychopathology: Definitions of abnormality and the different approaches used to diagnose and treat mental disorders such as phobias, OCD and depression
Research Methods: How psychologists conduct their research in the real world. Reference to different methods such as lab experiments, observations, questionnaires, surveys. Some reference to statistical testing including the sign test
Students in year 13 are expected to have sound subject knowledge for all of the modules and topics taught in year 12, and will also get taught the following modules/topics:
Biopsychology: The localisation of brain function and methods to study the brain. Investigating biological rhythms in the body such as the sleep/wake cycle
Approaches: Looking at the psychodynamic and humanistic approach in psychology
Issues and Debates: Examining the role of gender and culture bias in research, as well as debates such as free will, determinism, nature/nurture, holism and reductionism
Relationships: Explanations for partner preferences and factors affecting attraction. Theories of romantic relationships, how they form, develop and breakdown. Examining the role of virtual relationships in different contexts.
Schizophrenia: Classification of schizophrenia, including symptoms. Reliability and validity in diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia. Biological and psychological causes of schizophrenia, as well as a range of treatments.
Addiction: Describing addiction via physical and psychological dependence, tolerance and withdrawal syndrome. Risk factors in the development of addiction. Explanations for smoking and gambling addictions and treatments for addiction.
Research Methods: Building upon knowledge gained in year 12, the focus is more on the use of statistical testing, levels of significance, results analysis and data handling. Psychological methods of testing and researching are also investigated.
For more detailed information on the course content and assessment please refer to the examination board website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology-7181-7182