Psychology explores the workings of the mind to understand why we behave in the ways we do and how we can alter these behaviours. By studying the mind and understanding its functions, psychologists can help identify and build awareness of mental disorders. Addressing conditions such as schizophrenia, affected individuals can live healthier, fuller lives.
Psychology gives us an insight into who we are. It helps to solve the puzzle of why some people might do one thing, whilst others do another. And explains why some people are more likely to develop ‘abnormal’ behaviours than others. It helps us gain a greater understanding of the people around us and can make us more compassionate as a result. It also gives us the skills to apply this knowledge in the real world and affect change in our communities.
Therefore, if you’re interested in understanding what makes people tick, A Level psychology could be the perfect course for you.
Psychology is the ‘scientific study of the mind and behaviour’, and the A Level offers an introduction to six ‘core’ areas of the discipline.
Social Psychology focuses on the social interactions people have with each other. Cognitive Psychology looks at how we perceive and interpret the world around us. Cognitive psychologists are interested in ‘thinking’ and are therefore concerned with internal mental processes.
Developmental Psychology considers how people develop and change from before they are born, throughout their lives.
Psychologists interested in Psychopathology study the causes of mental disorders, such as OCD, Phobias and Schizophrenia.
Biological Psychology looks at the role of evolutionary forces and genetics in behaviour.
A Level Psychology is a linear subject, assessed at the end of two years of study. The AQA examination board uses three examinations to assess you. Each of these exams comprises a number of short questions, essay questions and scenarios to which you are required to apply your knowledge.
Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology (Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, and Psychopathology).
Paper 2: Psychology in Context (Approaches in Psychology, Research Methods and Biopsychology).
Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology (Section A is a compulsory section on Issues and Debates in Psychology. Sections B, C, D each contain questions on the in-depth option topics you've studied.