AQA Psychology is taught at A level only.  Psychology is taught by Mrs Chandan who is the subject leader for this course.


The course is designed to ensure students understand psychological explanations of human behaviour and the research that underpins these explanations.

Students learn to critically evaluate psychological explanations and research.

Course Calendar

Please click here to view the Key Stage 5 Course Calendar


A level (New Specification)

Click here for the information below in a narrated PowerPoint format

There is no course work at A level and the course is 100% exam based.
There are three exams to be taken in June.

Students complete exam questions in every lesson. They also complete exam questions for homework and have regular end of unit mock tests.

Students will learn through a variety of activities including class lectures, note-taking from a variety of sources, essay writing, independent research, group work, presentations, card sorts and student led interactive activities.

Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology

a) Social influence

  • Obedience- factors which cause an individual to obey orders
  • Compliance- factors which causes individuals to change their behaviour in the presence of other people
  • Psychological explanations of social change

b) Memory

  • Psychological theories which explain how our memory works
  • Factors which effect the accuracy of eye witness testimony
  • Explanations of forgetting

c) Developmental psychology

  • Psychological theories of attachment
  • The effects of deprivation
  • Ainsworth’s strange situation – how to assess attachment

d) Psychopathology

  • Definitions of abnormality
  • Symptoms of phobias, depression and OCD
  • Behavioural explanations and treatments of phobias
  • Cognitive explanations and treatments of depression
  • Biological explanations and treatment of OCD

Paper 2: psychology in context

a) Approaches in psychology

  • Origins of psychology
  • Cognitive approach to psychology
  • Biological approach to psychology
  • Learning approach to psychology

b) Biopsychology

  • The nervous system
  • The endocrine system
  • Biological rhythms
  • Studying the brain in psychology

c) Research methods

  • Methods used to conduct psychological research
  • The strengths and weaknesses of these methods
  • How to analyse and present research findings
  • Statistical analysis

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology

a) Relationships

  • Evolutionary explanations for partner preferences
  • Factors affecting attraction
  • Theories of romantic relationships
  • Virtual and parasocial relationships

b) Schizophrenia

  • Classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia
  • Biological explanations and treatments of schizophrenia
  • Psychological explanations and treatments of schizophrenia
  • Interactionist approach to schizophrenia

c) Aggression

  • Neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression
  • Social psychological explanations of aggression
  • Institutional aggression
  • Media influence on aggression

d) Issues and debates in psychology

  • Gender and culture bias
  • Free will vs determinism
  • Nature vs nurture
  • Holism vs reductionism
  • Ethical issues

Paper 1: One written paper of 2 hours (33.3% of A Level marks)
Paper 2: One written paper of 2 hours (33.3% of A Level marks)
Paper 3: One written paper of 2 hours (33.3% of A Level marks)

Entry requirements for A Level Psychology

Students are required to achieve a level 6 or better in GCSE English, Maths and Science.


The department currently runs a ‘catch up club’, in room SF4, in order to support students who might have missed lessons or are finding that they are performing below their target minimum grade.

The department also uploads all of its resources and posts interesting articles and videos on your virtual learning tool called Moodle. – This website provides students with useful electronic resources.


For any further questions please email using the enquiry contact form with the message subject of FAO: Psychology.