A Level

AS-Level

The AS-Level course is approached through fifteen case-studies and covers five approaches to Psychology. These areas, and the relevant case-studies, are outlined below:

Cognitive Psychology

This area of Psychology deals with the processes of the mind - in particular, the roles of memory, language and perception.

  • Loftus and Palmer
    "Do you see what I see?"
  • Baron-Cohen
    "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
  • Savage-Rambaugh
    "Are you making a monkey of me?"

Developmental Psychology

In this area, psychologists study how children learn and what is necessary for so-called 'normal' development.

  • Samuel and Bryant
    "Square pegs in round holes"
  • Bandura and Ross
    "Do you do what I do?"
  • Freud
    "Are you scared of horses?"

Physiological Psychology

Physiological Psychology is concerned with linking brain activity and behaviour; sleep and dreaming, emotion and brain hemisphere connection are areas studied.

  • Dement and Kleitman
    "Do you R.E.M or do you just ZZZZZZ...?"
  • Sperry
    "Are two minds better than one?"
  • Maguire
    "Follow that taxi....!"

Social Psychology

This area deals with human interaction - in particular, obedience, conformity, helping behaviour and prejudice.

  • Milgram
    "Are you a good boy?"
  • Reicher and Haslam
    "Do you do as you are told?"
  • Piliavin
    "Would you walk on by?"

Psychology of Individual Differences

We are all different and this area of psychology seeks to explore why. Intelligence testing, racial self-identification, abnormality and mental health issues are features of this area.

  • Griffiths
    "Put your money where...."
  • Rosenham
    "Can you prove that you are not mad?"
  • Thigpen and Cleckley
    "Who am I today?"

As part of the AS-Level syllabus, students are required to carry out four short practical investigations in order to develop critical thinking and to see how psychological research is performed. The AS-Level course is assessed by written examination; one paper devoted to the core studies as outlined above, and a second paper focuses on psychological investigations.

A2-Level

The A2-Level content builds on the work of the AS-Level units and focuses mainly on the ways psychology has been applied. Students study two areas...

  • Psychology of Education
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

Students will sit a written examination on both these applied areas. In addition, practical work requires the candidate to expand on the skills developed during the AS-Level course.

The course allows for a variety of activities, with plenty of scope for individual development as well as developing a greater understanding of how we think and interact with the world around us.