Mrs A. Kormari – Subject Leader

Psychology is the study of human behaviour. Pupils explore such fundamental subjects as how memory works, what influences our behaviour and attitudes to other people, and the importance of childhood experiences. They become familiar with the ideas of important psychologists who have changed our way of thinking such as Sigmund Freud, John Bowlby, Milgram and Zimbardo. Psychology is offered at AS and A level.

Studying Psychology you will gain a greater understanding of yourself and the people around you. Psychology is a very popular and interesting subject with wide applications; it can be combined equally successfully with arts and science subjects. It is particularly useful if you wish to study medicine or psychotherapy or pursue a career which involves a lot of public relations.

AQA Psychology AS Specification

Content at a glance:

You will cover six topics in AS Psychology:

  1. Social influence: conformity, obedience, majority influence, minority influence, resistance to social influence and social change.
  2. Memory: characteristics of memory, types of memory, the multi-store model and the working model of memory, explanations for forgetting and factors affecting the eyewitness testimony.
  3. Attachment: stages of attachments, explanations of attachment, cultural variations in attachment, the theory of maternal deprivation and the influence of attachment on later relationships.
  4. Approaches in Psychology: the origins of Psychology, the learning approach, the biological approach, biopsychology.
  5. Psychopathology: definitions of abnormality, phobias, depression, OCD, the behavioural approach of explaining and treating phobias,  the cognitive approach of explaining and treating depression and the biological approach of explaining and treating OCD.
  6. Research methods: ways of investigation and constructing theories in Psychology.  Ethical issues, experiments, observations, self-report, correlational studies and analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.


You will sit two papers:

Paper 1 (7181/1): Introductory topics in psychology:

Compulsory content topics 1-3 above. Written exam 1 hour and 30 minutes.  72 marks in total, worth 50% of AS.

Exam date: Monday 16th May 2016 pm

Paper 2 (7181/2): Psychology in context.

Compulsory content topics 4-6 above. Written exam 1 hour and 30 minutes.  72 marks in total, worth 50% of AS.

Exam date: Monday 23rd May 2016 pm

At A2 we continue with the old specification (units 3 and 4) for the current academic year 2015-16:

A2 Unit 3 Topics in Psychology: a choice of three out of eight from Social and Developmental Psychology:Relationships

Relationships: theories on formation, maintenance and breakdown of relationships, human reproductive behaviour and effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships.

Aggression: social psychological and biological explanations to aggression and aggression as an adaptive response.

Gender Gender: biological influences on gender, social contexts of gender roles and psychological explanations of gender development.

25% A2 Level To be assessed in June

A2 Unit 4 Psychopathology –In psychopathology students study the explanations, diagnosis and treatment of OCD- an anxiety disorder.

Psychology In Action – Investigation into Media Psychology or Addictive Behaviour or Anomalistic Psychology Research Methods- In Media Psychology students study persuasion, attitude and change, media influences on social behaviour and the psychology of celebrity.

25% A2 Level To be assessed in June

Course requirements B’s in English, Maths and Science at GCSE level.

Research Methods In Psychological research and scientific method students study the application of scientific methodology in Psychology, designing psychological investigations and data analysis and reporting of investigations.

Useful Links

Examination Board AQA