A Level Psychology (AQA)
- Six GCSEs 9-4, two from English, Maths OR Science
- Two at least grade 6
Specific requirements for Psychology:
- It is useful but not essential to have good grades (4 or above) in Maths, Science and English as Psychology involves all these subjects.
There are no requirements to have studied Psychology before.
What is Psychology?
A Level Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. Psychological research aims to understand all aspects of human behaviour and apply findings to benefit individuals in society. Research in psychology seeks to understand mental health treatment, and many other areas affecting health and daily life.
There are three exams. The length of each exam is 2 hours. Each exam is out of 96 marks and worth 33.3% of the total exam. There will be a mixture of questions on each exam paper including: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.
PAPER 1 – INTRODUCTORY TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY
Topics covered are social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology.
PAPER 2 – PSYCHOLOGY IN CONTEXT
Topics covered are approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods.
PAPER 3 – ISSUES AND OPTIONS IN PSYCHOLOGY
Topics covered are issues and debates, relationships, schizophrenia and forensic psychology.
Evaluation skills, research skills, numeracy skills, extended writing, application of knowledge skills, organisation skills, revision skills and time management
As Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour it can lead to many careers that require knowledge of how people think and react. Such as clinical psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, sports psychology, physiotherapy, social work, teaching, advertising, marketing, nursing, medicine, criminology, neuroscience, occupational psychology and management.
What is Psychology?
Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour.
This means that psychology tries to explain how the human mind
works and why people act in the way they do. Psychologists carry
out research studies and formulate theories to help to explain
What do you study in Psychology A Level?
In the first-year topics include how memory works, why people get
psychological disorders such as depression, or how to treat a
phobia, and attachment behaviour and how this affects later child
and adult development. Other topics studied in the first year are
how the brain works and how to design and conduct psychological
research and analyse data. Approaches in psychology are the main
explanations in psychology to explain behaviour and these are
taught throughout the course. In the second year of the course,
other topics studied are the complex psychological disorder
schizophrenia, explanations for why people offend and the reasons
and process for the maintenance and breakdown of relationships.
Which other A Level subjects go well with Psychology A Level?
Psychology is a social science and therefore goes well with all
subjects. Due to the scientific aspects of the course it works well
with science subjects and a very common combination with Biology
and Chemistry. It also goes well with other social sciences such as
Sociology as the structure of the two subjects is very similar, due to
them both having main theories and using research methods to
support the topic areas. However, any of the social sciences such as
Law, Criminology, Business Studies and Health and Social Care work
well with psychology. If a student has an interest in sports,
psychology works well with that too. Psychology also combines well
with art subjects due to the significant amount of extended writing
required. Psychology can also help to understand and interpret
aspects of English Literature, Classical Civilisation and Art.
What are the entry requirements for Psychology A Level?
To study Psychology A level at Loreto college you need to meet the
college entry requirements to study A level. There are no specific
entry requirements for Psychology. However, the GCSE’s that will
best support you in studying Psychology are English, Maths and
How am I assessed in Psychology?
In Psychology you will have to write extended answers where you
need to outline and evaluate psychological research so having good
English skills will help you with this. There is also a significant part
of the course that uses biology to explain human behaviour so
science GCSE will help with this. 10% of the Psychology exam will be
questions based in maths and the topic of research methods has a
mathematical content so having maths GCSE will help you with
these topics in psychology
Is there any coursework in Psychology A Level?
There is no coursework in Psychology but there are three exams at
the end of the two years. These exams are 2 hours long and the
questions range from multiple choice, short answer, applied,
extended writing questions and research methods.
What are the class sizes in Psychology A Level?
Psychology is a popular subject and the class sizes are
approximately 22 students. This is a very popular department in the
College with 1000 students studying psychology A level taught by
14 psychology teachers.
What career can you do with Psychology?
As Psychology helps you to understand human behaviours it is
helpful for a whole range of careers. If you go on to study a
Psychology degree, there are lots of specific related careers;
including Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology and Occupational
Psychology. If you want further information about these careers,
visit the British Psychology Society website. Other careers that
Psychology is useful for include: nursing, sports, marketing,
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
management, teaching, police work, social work, recruitment and
media and TV.
Do you go on any trips in Psychology*?
Each year in Psychology we go on a residential trip to London to
attend a psychology conference where a famous psychologist is the
main guest speaker; there is also time for sight-seeing, and
experiencing a west end show. We also attend a forensic
psychology conference where the UK’s lead criminal psychologist
David Wilson presents. Other trips involve visiting universities. The
department also invites guest speakers who visit the college to talk
about their personal experiences of schizophrenia and offending
behaviour. The department hosts an annual event at college to
raise awareness on world mental health day.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trips and residential visits will not
be taking place.
What support will I get?
The subject is well taught with an outstanding range of resources
provided to students to help support their learning. Students are
regularly assessed to help enhance their long-term memory of the
subject over the two years in preparation for their A level
examinations, and there is a homework schedule to enhance this.
Teachers in the department are approachable and make
themselves available to offer drop in sessions to help support
students with areas of difficulty. The department offers an extra
session for upper sixth students and an independent study package
to support students to work on to help students improve their
grades. Revision and skill targeted support sessions are offered
throughout the year.