AQA-A Psychology

Year 1 of this linear A' Level gives a good foundation to studying psychology at a higher level. In this course you will study social influence (factors such as obedience and conformity), memory (different types of memory, eyewitness testimony and forgetting), attachement (how childhood relationships affect individuals both immediately and in the longer term) and psychopathology (phobias, OCD and depression). You will also look at the main approaches to psychology and how they explain behaviour, as well as looking in more detail at biopsychology (specifically structure and function of the nervous system, hormones and the fight or flight response). Alongside all of this and interweaving into it all are research methods - the how science works part of psychology including how to carry out psychological investigations, the strengths and weaknesses of different methods and how to improve work done by others.

In the second year of the linear course you will continue to study the main approaches and perspectives in psychology, broadening the range to include Freud's psychodynamic approach and the humanistic perspective. You will also increase your understanding of biospsychology, looking in detail at the structure and functioning of the brain and circadian rhythms and sleep. We will be looking in more detail at the issues and debates that run through all the different strands of psychology including things such as free will and determinism, the nature-nurture debate and reductionism versus holism.  For most of the year you will be studying three options in psychology; relationships, schizophrenia and aggression. You will look at these topics in detail to gain a deep understanding of the material and how the issues and debates they have learnt interplay with these specific areas of human behaviour. At the end of the course you will sit three exams covering everything that you will have learnt over the two years.