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GCSE Psychology

Introduction:

Psychology is the study of behaviour and the mind and provides students with an opportunity to explore mental health issues and how the brain affects our behaviour.  Other important issues include: how memory works, how our social surroundings impact our behaviour and the principles of addiction.

 

This engaging subject not only introduces students to the fundamentals of psychology, but also develops critical analysis, independent thinking and research skills.

 

Course content:

 

Cognition and behaviour

  • Memory.
  • Perception.
  • Development.
  • Research Methods.

 

Social context and behaviour

  • Social influence.
  • Language, thought and communication.
  • Brain and neuropsychology.
  • Psychological problems.

 

Examination Board:   AQA

 

Mode of Assessment:

This qualification is purely exam based and students will take two exams at the end of their final year based on the content they have covered throughout the 2 year period.  Each exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes and contributes 50% of the final grade.  Exams are made up of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions.


A-Level Psychology

Psychology is one of the most popular choices at A-level and university.  Psychology is a diverse subject that can be thought of as the scientific study of animal (human and non-human) behaviour and cognitions.  The AS course is divided into two sections, giving students a broad knowledge and understanding of the principles of psychological study.  Some of the most interesting topics include the study of how the human memory functions and the impact of early child development on adult personality.  The A-level course is organised into three sections focusing on: introductory topics in psychology; psychology in context; and issues/options in psychology.  Here the topics covered involve the study of complex disorders like schizophrenia and students are encouraged to enter into debates around aggression and whether a criminal is genetically programmed to commit crime or whether they are a product of their environment.  This course provides endless opportunities to apply knowledge to everyday life and exciting field trips to enhance these applications are offered.  A feature of the psychology A-level course is that students must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of psychological principles, terminology, concepts, empirical research and psychological methods in relation to the main topic areas.  In addition, students must also be able to demonstrate clear knowledge and understanding of the topic areas and an ability to question the theoretical and methodological approaches upon which they are based. Ideally, students should have achieved at least a grade C in GCSE mathematics and English.

 

Course content

 

AS (One Year Course)

 

Paper One: Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment

 

Paper Two: Psychology in Context

  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Research Methods

 

Mode of assessment

There will be three compulsory sections on each examination paper (one from each area of psychology), which will be a 1 hour 30 minutes written exam.  Each unit accounts for 50% of AS Psychology.  Each paper carries a total of 72 marks.

 

A-Level (Two Year Course)

 

Paper One: Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

 

Paper Two: Psychology in Context

  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research Methods

 

Paper Three: Issues and Options in Psychology

  • Issues and Debates in Psychology
  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression

 

Mode of assessment

There will be four compulsory sections on paper one which will be 33.3% a third of the A-level.  All four sections require written answers.  The exam length will be 2 hours and 96 marks are available.

 

There will be three compulsory sections on paper two which will be 33.3% a third of the A-level. All three sections require written answers.  The exam length will be 2 hours and 96 marks are available.

 

There will be ONE compulsory section on paper three which will be 33.3% a third of the A-level.  Three sections offer a choice of three topics.  Students are required to answer one from each section.  The exam length will be 2 hours and 96 marks are available.

 

Examination Board: AQA

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