The Psychology A level course is taught over two years with a variety of methods including multi media methods some with original footage of studies, speakers who work as psychologists and other enrichment. Coming from a psychological background having studied, trained and practised as a Psychologist the psychology teacher is also a member of the British Psychological Society and has links for psychologists to come and speak with students about a career in this field to enhance learning and help students feel excited about seeing how Psychology works in the real world.
In AS psychology you will study the AQA (A) syllabus. We start the year with Cognitive psychology and our focus is on memory. Some of these features are eyewitness testimony (EWT), factors affecting the accuracy of EWT, including misleading information, anxiety, age of witness, improving accuracy of EWT and strategies for memory improvement.
You will also study research methods and early social development. This includes child psychology which involves attachment and the impact of different forms of day care on children’s social development, including the effects on aggression and peer relation. We also examine effects of separation on children and how research into attachment and day care has influenced child care practices.
In unit 2 you will look at stress and the effects on the body including management of stress through biological and psychological therapies. Social psychology in AS includes issues such as how people interact when in groups and the effect groups can have on an individual. This includes how social influence research helps us to understand social change; the role of minority influence in social change. We also examine mental health issues and certain mental illness and therapies for abnormality.
Moving on to A2 psychology in Unit 3, you will be using all you have learned and applying this through synoptic links with different areas of psychology. We will examine biological rhythms involved in sleep and other cycles. We examine the nature and functions of sleep including stages of sleep and lifespan changes in sleep. We will also investigate disorders of sleep and explanations for sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep walking and narcolepsy. In the next topic relationships, we will look at the formation, maintenance and breakdown of romantic relationships, evolutionary explanations of human reproductive behaviour and effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships. In eating behaviour you will learn about factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviour, for example cultural influences, mood, health concerns and explanations for the success and failure of dieting. We also examine Biological explanations of eating behaviour.
In unit 4 in A2 you will be studying psychopathology including Schizophrenia and then media in action using the theories research methods and approaches you have been learning about in the previous year.