Exam Board: AQA-A
What is Psychology?
This is a hard one! Psychology has been described as the scientific study of how people think, feel and behave. We would emphasise the word ‘science’ here – psychology is based on scientific research such as experiments investigating how people use their memories or how the body reacts to stress. But it is also a social science, interested in how people behave in a group and defining what is normal and abnormal behaviour.
Will I be able to work out what other people are thinking?
Mind reading is not on the syllabus but you will learn how different psychologists have interpreted behaviours such as conformity and obedience to authority.
Do we get to conduct our own Psychology experiments?
Yes. This is a great way to understand how psychologists conduct research. For example, we do small-scale replications of classic memory experiments in class.
Does this mean I have to be good at Maths?
Well, good enough will do and your GCSE Maths should give you all the skills you need for Year 13. And remember that there are no mathematical calculations to do in the exams.
What kind of lessons do we have?
We have a great variety of lessons and learning methods, including: discussions, debates and seminars, role play, group work and independent research. Students are also encouraged to give class presentations using PowerPoint. The department makes extensive use of ICT and the internet in its teaching.
Do my own opinions and ideas matter in Psychology?
Yes, student views and opinions are welcome in class discussions. However, Psychology is a behavioural science and opinion must be based on knowledge of psychological studies and research. So how you ‘feel’ about the reasons why people might obey an authority figure wearing a uniform is not enough. You need to offer an argument based on psychological evidence. The main thing to grasp is that Psychology is more than common sense.
The Psychology Department provides enrichment activities and trips throughout the academic year. Recently we have held CSI days, which gave students the opportunity to solve crimes using criminal profiles and crime scene analysis. We have been on an exchange trip to Finland, where students were able to visit a rehab centre and to conduct cross-cultural research into many areas such as body image, the media and social norms. This is particularly useful when making UCAS applications as it demonstrates a striving desire to broaden knowledge beyond the specification. We have also been to see Derren Brown at Dartford Theatre and taken an overnight trip into London; in the course of this visit we attended a mock trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, and visited the Clink Museum and The Tower of London.
Subject Leader: Miss L Hillman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Key Stage 5
Year 12 – Year 1 specification 2015
- Social influence
- Approaches in Psychology
- Research methods
Year 13 – A2 Psychology 2015
The A2 year makes up 50% of the total marks for A level Psychology. There is not any coursework, it is all examination based.
This is the last year of the old specification. In this students will cover the following topics:
- Relationships (24 marks)
- Aggression (24 marks)
- Eating Behaviours (24 marks)
- Research methods (35 marks)
- Schizophrenia (24 marks)
- Media (24 marks)