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Sir Graham Balfour School Psychology Spec A A Level AQA (Block B) at The Stafford Partnership

Course description


The course is aimed at students who are interested in why human beings behave the way they do, whether this is in connection to obedience and conformity, abnormal behaviours or hot topics such as eyewitness testimony, childcare or eating disorders. The specification is designed to encourage students to take a broad look at all aspects of Psychology, including the core areas of cognitive, social, developmental and physiological differences.

AS Course:

Course Content

Unit 1: In the first unit you will study the nature and structure of memory, long-term and short-term memory including research into the eyewitness testimony of Elizabeth Loftus and new approaches to police questioning; The nature and variety of attachments made during the first years of life, cultural variations, the effects of deprivation and privation and the impact of day care on children’s social and cognitive development; Qualitative and quantitative research methods used in psychological research and effective data analysis, for which a good understanding of basic mathematical concepts is essential.

Unit 2: In the second unit you will research into the relationship between stress and illness and the immune system, causes of stress, stress management and coping strategies; Use case studies to examine conformity and obedience and their potential impact on independent behaviour; Assess abnormal behaviour, how it is defined and different psychological perspectives on why the behaviour occurs and how abnormal behaviour is treated, including drugs, ECT, therapy and psychoanalysis.

If you progress to A2 you will study the following:

Unit 3: Thee topics from Social Psychology; Relationships; Physiological Psychology; Bodily rhythms and sleep; Individual differences and eating behaviour.

Unit 4: Psychology and research methods.

Additional Information

As part of the course students will be expected to carry out practical experiments using family and friends (with your permission of course) and report back on their findings. It is also hoped to have the opportunity to attend conferences, meet visiting speakers and benefit from links with local universities.

Progression Routes

Students may progress on to higher education where psychology is fully accepted and recognised as broadly relevant to many courses. This is due to its synthesis of traditional sciences and arts subjects such as those found in humanities or social sciences departments. Ultimately this could lead you to a job in occupational psychology, media/advertising, clinical psychology, counselling, therapy, business and management, teaching and any job which involves understanding how people think and behave.

Entry requirements

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form is an 9-4 or A*-C in at least seven different subjects, including mathematics which would usually be at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C in previous years).


For some A-levels with a high mathematical content (particularly computing, chemistry and physics) GCSE at grade 6 in mathematics is also required.

Financial information


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Stafford Partnership directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2017
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