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Psychology A Level at The Ashcombe School

Course description

Reformed subject

Why study the subject?

Students will develop an understanding of the processes, motives, reactions and nature of the human mind. They will learn to understand why people behave the way they do and how psychologists find out about human behaviour. A-level Psychology is accepted by universities as an excellent foundation for a very wide range of degree courses. It is also an asset to careers in health/welfare, medicine, law, teaching, marketing, personnel, general management, the police and the media.

Course content


Unit 1: Social Influence, Memory, Attachment.

Unit 2: Approaches in Psychology, Psychopathology, Research Methods.

Social Influence studies conformity and obedience. It looks at why we conform and obey in various circumstances. The famous obedience study by Milgram is studied is detail.

Memory looks at different models of human memory – how it works, strategies to improve it and the reliability of eyewitness testimony. You will learn about the cognitive interview which is used by the police force to interview witnesses.

Attachment studies the attachment process between human beings. It looks closely at learning theory and evolutionary theory. You will also learn about cultural variations in attachment and about the effects of institutionalisation and day care on children’s development.

Approaches in Psychology looks at the emergence and development of psychology as a science. It considers the learning, cognitive and biological approaches.

Psychopathology considers definitions of abnormality and deviations from social norms. It looks at phobias, depression and OCD as well as different types of treatment for these conditions.

Research Methods runs through the whole psychology course at AS and A2. Research Methods in psychology is where students need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different psychological methods, scientific processes and techniques of handling data and analysis. 


Students will revise the AS content which will feature in the A-level exams. In addition they will cover:

Unit 3: Issues and options in Psychology which includes

• Issues and Debates in Psychology

• Relationships

• Schizophrenia

• Forensic Psychology

Entry requirements

Grade C or above in English and Mathematics GCSE. Students need to be well motivated and prepared for a large degree of independent study to cope with the demands of this course. Students must have achieved 45pts or higher at GCSE.


Assessment methods at AS

Unit 1 and Unit 2 are each assessed through a 1½ hour exam paper composed of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions 

How is the A-level assessed?

There are three written exams, each comprising 1/3 of the A-level award. The AS content is re-examined in addition to the Unit 3 content described above. Each written paper is 2 hours in length and composed of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Ashcombe School directly.

Last updated date: 26 August 2016
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