Why choose this subject?

Psychology is a social science that offers students the opportunity to investigate the motivations behind the human mind.

The first year comprises of two modules.  The content covers social, developmental, cognitive, biological and abnormal psychology. Students will also look at a range of research methods and techniques used to investigate psychology.  Students will be examined on their ability to recall factual information and to evaluate and draw conclusions from this. The second year comprises a further two modules. These modules are synoptic and will expect the student to use and build on the information they have learnt in year 1.

Combine this course with:                                           Media Studies, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry and Maths

Essential if you go on to:                                             It will be useful in a wide range of careers as it equips you with the ability to understand people and behaviours as well as developing evaluative and communicative skills which are useful in a range of environments.

Course Description

AS Level Psychology

Paper 1:  Introductory Topics in Psychology
1 hour 30 minute written exam, 50% of the AS, 72 marks

  • Social Influence – exploring what research has shown us about whether people conform and obey and what makes them do this; explaining why some people don’t conform and in what situations people don’t obey.
  • Memory – studying the models of memory that have been suggested by psychologists; investigating why we forget; applying our knowledge to eyewitness testimony and its accuracy.
  • Attachment – reflecting on the relationship between babies and their caregivers, in particular their mothers; explaining why attachments are necessary and how they form.

Paper 2:  Psychology in Context
1 hour 30 minute written exam, 50% of the AS, 72 marks

  • Approaches in Psychology – comparing and contrasting the different views found in psychology, for example, biological psychologists vs humanist psychologists vs cognitive psychologists.
  • Psychopathology – exploring what psychology can tell us about what being ‘abnormal’ really means; investigating different explanations and treatments of phobias, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Research Methods ­– learning how psychologists conduct research and carrying out practical research of our own.

A2 level Psychology

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of full A-level, 96 marks

  • Social Influence – as above.
  • Memory – as above.
  • Attachment – as above.
  • Psychopathology – In the AS level, this topic is in Paper 2.

Paper 2:  Psychology in Context
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of full A-level, 96 marks

  • Approaches in Psychology – as above
  • Biopsychology – This is not in the AS level Paper 2 – Identifying key features of the human body, such as the central nervous system and the endocrine system, as well as looking at the fundamental structures of the brain; understanding how our physiology is of importance in psychology.
  • Research Methods – as above

Paper 3:  Issues and Options in Psychology
2 hour written exam, 33.3% of full A-level, 96 marks

  • Issues and Debates in Psychology ­– developing an understanding of the key issues and debates in psychology, such as the nature-nurture debate, culture bias and gender bias.
  • One from:  Relationships; Gender; Cognition and Development – At Tabor it is likely that we will choose ‘relationships’.  We will explore the different factors that affect romantic relationships, as well as looking at virtual relationships (those conducted online) and parasocial relationships (one sided relationships, such as celebrity worship).
  • One from:  Schizophrenia; Eating Behaviour; Stress.  At Tabor it is likely that we will choose ‘schizophrenia’, where we will investigate the nature of schizophrenia, as well as comparing possible explanations and treatments.
  • One from:  Aggression; Forensic Psychology:  Addiction.  At Tabor it is likely that we will choose ‘aggression’, where we will explore the mechanisms behind aggression in individuals, the media’s influence on aggressive behaviour, and explanations of aggression in prisons.