Students wishing to study Psychology should have demonstrated success at GCSE with at least grade 5 in Maths (ideally grade 6 as there is A-Level Maths involved), English Language and Additional/Triple Science.
Psychology is a vast and interesting subject and is defined as “the scientific study of animal and human behaviour and mental processes”. The AQA specification studied at Abbey Grange covers the core approaches to Psychology and the research methods used by psychologists as well as more applied and modern topics such as Psychopathology and Attachment. In the first term at AS level you will study the core approaches in Psychology, Research Methods, and Psychopathology (abnormality) examining issues such as explanations for depression and phobias. In the second and third terms, you will study Social Influence (Obedience and Conformity), Memory and Attachment. Those wishing to achieve AS level but not continue to A2 have the option of sitting two one and a half hour exams in the summer following year 12 to achieve the qualification
At A2 level you will build on the work already done in year 12 by examining in more detail the Key Approaches to Psychology, Debates in Psychology, Statistics and Research Methods. In addition you will study Gender Development, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology.
All Assessment is in the form of examinations. At both AS and A2 there will be some short answer questions as well as extended writing questions. At A2 there are three two hour exams which will assess the knowledge and skills learned across the two years of A level.
Within the AQA Psychology specification there is no coursework. The skills required for carrying out practical investigations in Psychology will be assessed in the written examination. Each student will be given the opportunity throughout the course to carry out psychological research and practice the techniques needed for the examination.
Students can use Psychology along with a variety of other subjects to pursue a wide range of careers or university courses. Courses chosen by past students include Psychology, Medicine, Chemistry, Biology, Nursing, English and Law. Psychology A Level is useful in many occupations such as Social Work, Nursing, Teaching, the Police etc.
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