Psychology is about studying the human mind and behaviour using scientific research. It tries to figure out why people think, feel, and act as they do by testing theories and hypotheses.
What will I learn?
The course looks at human psychology from different angles. You'll explore important studies and theories across core topics:
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How is the course assessed?
You'll take three exams at the end of Year 13, each 2 hours long. At least 25% will test your knowledge of research methods. A minimum of 10% of the assessments’ marks will require your using mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in the context of A Level Psychology and will be at least the standard of higher-tier GCSE mathematics. There's no coursework.
What do research methods cover?
In A Level Psychology, students must demonstrate proficiency in research methods, scientific processes, and data handling techniques. Topics range from experimental and observational techniques to self-report methods, correlations, content analysis, and case studies. The scientific process is explored, covering aims, hypotheses, sampling, pilot studies, experimental and observational designs, variables, control, ethics, and peer review. The data handling section includes quantitative and qualitative data, descriptive statistics, and presentation methods. Students also delve into inferential testing, understanding statistical significance and factors influencing test choice. Emphasis is placed on reliability, validity, and the scientific reporting of psychological investigations.
What skills will I gain?
Is A Level Psychology right for me?
The course rewards curiosity and critical thinking. Students should feel at ease with complex theories and ambiguity in interpreting human behaviour. An open yet sceptical mindset helps analyse studies and weigh different perspectives. Students who prefer definitive answers may find parts of the course intellectually challenging. Be ready to dedicate time to learning new specialised vocabulary and research methods. An ideal psychology student stays inquisitive about the fundamentals behind thoughts, feelings, and actions while embracing nuance and debate.
Entry Requirements: As stated in the Admission Policy
Special Requirement: Grade 6/6 or above in Combined Science or two grade 6s in separate sciences.
Exam Board: AQA