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A Level Psychology Years 12 and 13

Specification

AQA - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level

The Psychology course has been designed to provide a broad and engaging introduction to the scope and nature of Psychology as a science. The emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding rather than just acquiring knowledge, thereby developing students’ transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking.

Year

In year 1, the specification includes approaches and methods related to the core areas of Psychology – cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences and research methods.

Topic Further details about the topic
Social Influence

Conformity

Obedience

Explanations of resistance to social influence

Minority influence

The role of social influence processes in social change.

Memory

Models of memory

Explanations for forgetting

Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

Attachment

Caregiver-infant interactions in humans

Explanations of attachment

Types of attachment

Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation.

Effects of institutionalisation.

The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships

Psychopathology

Definitions of abnormality

Phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias

The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression.

The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD

Approaches

The behaviourist approach

The cognitive approach

The biological approach

The psychodynamic approach

Humanistic Psychology

Biopsychology

The divisions of the nervous system

The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons

The function of the endocrine system

Ways of studying the brain

Biological rhythms

Research methods

The scientific process

Data handling and analysis

Inferential testing

Year 2

In year 2, there is a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different approaches and engage students in issues and debates in contemporary Psychology. 

Topic Further details about the topic
Issues and debates

Gender and culture in Psychology

Free will and determinism

The nature-nurture debate

Holism and reductionism

Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation.

Ethical implications of research studies and theory

Schizophrenia

Classification of schizophrenia

Biological explanations for schizophrenia

Psychological explanations for schizophrenia:

Drug therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy

The diathesis-stress model.

Relationships

The evolutionary explanations for partner preferences

Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships

Theories of romantic relationships

Virtual relationships in social media

Parasocial relationships

Aggression

Neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression

The ethological explanation of aggression

Social psychological explanations of human aggression

Institutional aggression in the context of prisons

Media influences on aggression

Examinations

Paper 1 -  96 marks (2 hours)

Memory, attachment, social influence and psychopathology.

Paper 2 – 96 marks (2 hours)

Approaches, biopsychology, research methods.

Paper 3 – 96 marks (2 hours)

Issues and debates, schizophrenia, aggression, relationships

Examination Assessment Overview

Paper 1: Markets and Market Failure Paper 2:  National and International Economy Paper 3:  Economic Principles and Issues
What’s assessed?
Content 1-8 above
What’s assessed?
Content 9-14 above
What’s assessed?
Content 1-14 above
Assessment
Written exam: 2hours
80 marks
33.3% of A Level

Assessment
Written exam: 2hours
80 marks
33.3% of A Level

Assessment
Written exam: 2hours
80 marks
33.3% of A Level

Questions
Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two context worth 40 marks.
Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks.

Questions
Section A: data response questions requiring written answers, choice of one from two context worth 40 marks.
Section B: essay questions requiring written answers, choice of one from three worth 40 marks.

Questions
Section A: multiple choice questions worth 30 marks.
Section B: case study questions requiring written answers, worth 50 marks

Year 12

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 & 2

Social Influence

Conformity

  • Obedience
  • Explanations of resistance to social influence
  • Minority influence
  • he role of social influence processes in social change.

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical issues

Apply psychological knowledge and understanding

Analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods

Evaluate therapies and treatments including in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research methods, practical research skills and mathematical skills

1 & 2

Memory

Models of memory

  • Explanations for forgetting
  • Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony
  • Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony
As above
1 & 2 Attachment

Caregiver-infant interactions in humans

Animal studies of attachment

Explanations of attachment

Types of attachment

Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation.

Effects of institutionalisation.

The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships

As above
2 & 2

Psychopathology

Definitions of abnormality

  • Phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias
  • The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression.
  • The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD
As above
Spring Term
1 & 2

Approaches

The behaviourist approach

The cognitive approach

The biological approach

The psychodynamic approach

Humanistic Psychology

Comparison of approaches

As above
1 & 2 Biopsychology

The divisions of the nervous system

The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons

The function of the endocrine system

Ways of studying the brain

Biological rhythms

As above
1 & 2

Research methods

The scientific process

Data handling and analysis

Inferential testing

As above

Summer Term
1 & 2

Memory

Biopsychology

Research methods

Revision of topics

Introduction to year 2

Models of memory

Explanations for forgetting

Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.  The divisions of the nervous system

The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons

The function of the endocrine system

Ways of studying the brain

Biological rhythms

As above

Year 13

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 & 2

Issues and debates

Gender and culture in Psychology

Free will and determinism

The nature-nurture debate

Holism and reductionism

Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation.

Ethical implications of research studies and theory

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical issues

Apply psychological knowledge and understanding

Analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods

Evaluate therapies and treatments including in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research methods, practical research skills and mathematical skills

1 & 2

Schizophrenia

Classification of schizophrenia

Biological explanations for schizophrenia

Psychological explanations for schizophrenia:

Drug therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy and family therapy

The diathesis-stress model.

As above
Spring Term
1 & 2

Relationships

The evolutionary explanations for partner preferences

Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships

Theories of romantic relationships

Virtual relationships in social media

Parasocial relationships

As above
1 & 2

Aggression

Neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression

The ethological explanation of aggression

Social psychological explanations of human aggression

nstitutional aggression in the context of prisons

Media influences on aggression

As above
Summer Term
1 Revision    

Assessments

Resources Topic Type of assessment
CAT 1 Research methods/social influence/memory Past paper questions from AQA
CAT 2 Research methods/ attachment/psychopathology Past paper questions from AQA
CAT 3 Research methods/social influence/approaches/attachment/ psychopathology/memory. Mock examination
CAT 4 All year 1 topics plus issues and debates and schizophrenia.  Past paper questions from AQA
CAT 5 All year 1 topics plus schizophrenia/issues and debates/aggression. Past paper questions from AQA

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Text books and support materials

AQA psychology for A level Year 1 and AS (978-1-908682-40-6)

Flanagan et al

AQA psychology for A level Year 2 (978-1-908682-41-3)

Flanagan et al

All
Recommended reading

Psychology Review magazine accessed through Frog or at https://my.dynamic-learning.co.uk/

All
Recommended websites

AQA (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/psychology/as-and-a-level/psychology)

Brain Freeze psychology

All
Equipment Pen, pencil, ruler, calculator, folder All

Enrichment opportunities

Activity Day and time or term
   

Where Next