Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour and it is offered as an A Level at Christ's School. Students follow the AQA syllabus which is designed to cover a broad range of psychological perspectives and real world psychological issues, such as child development, aggression and schizophrenia. The AQA exam board is very well resourced, equipping students with everything they need to succeed at A level. Psychology at Christ’s school is becoming increasingly popular due to a building record of excellent results and positive reviews from students.
When asked ‘why study Psychology at Christ’s?’ one Year 13 student answered that ‘Psychology is a well-rounded and relevant subject to study which can help you understand what drives, inspires and motivates people.’
This student has gone onto study Psychology at university.
It needs to be recognised and considered that Psychology is a very academically challenging subject, demanding a high level of literacy, numeracy and analytical skill. We therefore recommend that students achieve at least the following grades at GCSE when selecting it as an A level option:
English Language 6; Maths 6; Science 6
In Year 1, students develop a solid understanding of a range of psychological theories. In order to achieve this aim, students will question a range of hypotheses: the role of early relationships as an infant on later adult functioning; what causes psychological abnormalities and how they can be treated; whether theories of conformity and obedience can explain war; and how eye witness testimony can be affected by cognitive bias in a court of law.
Year 2 is designed to build on the knowledge gained in Year 1 and looks in greater depth at real world psychological issues, such as the key issues and debates in Psychology, child development, aggression and schizophrenia. At this level, students will gain an understanding of how psychologists work in applied settings. Science is very much at the heart of the course and thus requires students to critically consider the methods used by psychologists to study human behaviour. Thiere is a big emphasis on research methods, with students having an opportunity to become an active psychologist and design and test hypotheses.
Students who study Psychology are interested in human behaviour and tend to enjoy thinking critically and challenging what they read. Psychology students will be expected to engage in debates and discussions in the classroom and take an active stance in their learning. Furthermore, since the majority of the course involves essay writing students will need to be strong in this area.
- Approaches in Psychology
- Social influence
- Research methods
- Approaches (continued)
- Research methods (continuted)
- Issues and debates
- Cognition and Development
This is a linear course with three, 2 hour exams at the end of Year 2. Examination will comprise of:
Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology
Paper 2: Psychology in context
Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology
Homework in Psychology often consists of a mixture of independent study tasks, exam questions and extended writing tasks. Students are often asked to cengage in a process known as ‘flip learning’, where students come to the lesson readily prepared with information to share for the purpose of discussion and debate. Students are also encouraged to read around the subject and watch/ listen to Psychology-related podcasts/ films. This has proven effective in widening their subject knowledge and increasing their interest in the subject. However, students are expected to keep up with notes regardless of whether or not it has been explicitly set as homework, as it forms an important basis for their exam revision later on. Exam question students complete will either be assessed in class or makred by the class teacher, enabling students to become familiar with exam techniques and the grade descriptors that they are judged against.
Enrichment and extra-curricular
Psychology in Action (talks)
Brain Day talk (Dr Sutton)
Year 1 Flying Start Workshop (tutor2u)
Year 1 Clinical Psychology talk (University of Surrey)
Year 2 Strong Foundations Workshop (tutor2u)
Year 2 Grade Booster Workshop (tutor2u)
Psychology can lead to specific careers in Clinical, Educational, Forsenic, Sports or Organisational Psychology. However, it is a useful qualification to have if you are thinking of any career that involves dealing with people (almost everything!). In order to become a psychologist, one would undertake a Pyschology degree and specialise thereafter.
AQA A-level Psychology
Course Code: 7182
Textbooks and revision resources
Year 1 course textbook:
Green haired girl psychology 2nd edition (illuminate). Link to order:
Year 2 course textbook:
Pink haired girl psychology 2nd edition (illuminate). Link to order: