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Studying Psychology at A Level (AQA Syllabus) allows students to explain and evaluate human behaviour, undertake research, apply knowledge to case study scenarios and drive their own education as an independent learner. The syllabus covers a breadth of topics from attachment to Psychopathology and allows students to gain a real life understanding of topical issues.

Psychology is a scientific discipline, therefore knowledge and application of research methods underpin the theoretical learning. This means that students need to be competent with analysis of numerical data. A love of reading and a good understanding of Biology will also help students to succeed.

The Psychology Department at Gordon’s has had great success in the past. Our results are excellent and in the top 10% of the country.

Course details

Unit 1: Introductory topics in psychology: Students will study three topics within this unit; Social Influence, Attachment and Memory. Each topic require students to explain key concepts and ideas, evaluate those ideas using research evidence and also to apply knowledge to an unseen scenario. For Year 13 this paper includes Psychopathology as a topic.

Unit 2: Psychology in context: For this unit students will study Research Methods, Psychopathology and Approaches. Students are asked to explain and evaluate a range of research methods and will also be assessed on their ability to analyse and perform basic calculations of data. Students will also learn explanations for various psychological disorders in the Psychopathology topic. The Approaches topic includes a range of psychological theories and students will need to be able to describe and evaluate each theory.
For Year 13 this paper excludes Psychopathology but draws in more depth on Biopsychology.

Unit 3: Issues and options in psychology: This unit reflects the pure A Level content of options chosen as well as the underpinning issues and debates topic. In the Issues and debates topic students will explore issues such as gender bias within Psychology. Options chosen at A Level are Schizophrenia, Relationships and Forensic Psychology.

Entry Criteria

GCSE grade 6 in Maths and 6 in Biology (or 6-6 if double science studied) and a GCSE grade 5 in English