AQA | 2 years full time | 5 hours a week
Entry Requirements: please refer to The John of Gaunt Sixth Form entry requirements
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychology remains a subject that is offered at KS5 (A-level), following the AQA A syllabus. As a psychology student, you will analyse behaviour in both humans and animals and assess why this behaviour is present in society. In the first year there is a focus on research methods (how to design an experiment on people), key approaches in psychology, memory, social influence, attachment and child development and psychopathology (the study of mental health, specifically depression, OCD and phobias).
In the second year, we focus specifically on schizophrenia, the psychology of relationships and forensic psychology, statistics and biopsychology. All of the topics that we cover include biological and psychological explanations of behaviour. Psychology is a scientific subject, so be prepared to use biological concepts and terminology. A key part of the research methods involves mathematical skills and statistical analysis (around 10% of the course).
Exams: What exams will I have to take and what are the topics?
There are 3 x 2 hour exams – all of which are taken in the summer examination season of year 13.
Paper 1: Introduction to Psychology (social influence, memory, attachment, psychopathology and research methods)
Paper 2: Psychology in context (approaches, biopsychology and research methods)
Paper 3: Issues and debates in Psychology (issues and debates, schizophrenia, relationships and forensics).
Careers & Skills: Where can A Level psychology take me & what skills can I gain from studying it?
Psychology is an attractive subject to employers because it develops your literacy, numeracy and scientific skills. Your understanding of others means you are empathetic, good leaders and work collaboratively. Many employers also seek confident data analysts. The subject develops your communication skills and you can learn how to persuade and negotiate. It has specific links with careers that involve analysing the behaviour of others, specifically in a clinical/medical setting or careers that involve counselling or working with criminals.