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Psychology A Level at Woodbridge School

Course description

Unit 1

a) Social influence: conformity and authority, considering Milgram and Zimbardo

b) Memory: how we remember and what it is that makes us forget, with particular reference to eye-witness testimony

c) Attachment: the implications of poor attachment in infancy, infant-caregiver interactions and how these might influence development in later life

d) Psychopathology: the symptoms, causes and treatments of obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and depression

Unit 2:

a) Approaches in psychology: the origins of psychology and the work of the early psychologists such as Wundt, Watson, Freud, Pavlov, Skinner, Maslow and the five main approaches to understanding human behaviour

b) Biopsychology: our behaviour stems from how we are affected by our biological environment, investigating the nervous system, the brain and the effect of medications, injury

c) Research methods: psychological theory and ideas that have been arrived at by much investigative research. Psychological methodology will be tested in the examination. Investigations will be carried out and all students will be expected to conduct an extended piece of research to gain experience

Unit 3:

a) Issues and debates in psychology: “are we free to choose our behaviour?” “Is my behaviour the result of my biology or my upbringing?” We aim to answer these amongst other questions

b) Gender: what is it that makes a little boy more active and/or aggressive than a little girl? Is it our genetics and biology or our upbringing?

c) Schizophrenia: this topic looks at the symptoms and types of schizophrenia, the possible causes and the treatments that are available

d) Forensic psychology: what is a crime? Some crime may be a crime in the UK, but not elsewhere; why? We will touch on offender profiling as well as explanations for crime and treatments of criminals

Course content

Teaching and learning in psychology are a mixture of:

Teacher-led classroom discussion in which notes based on worksheets should be taken.

Student-centred learning in which students will be asked to research topics and to report back, perhaps in a presentation. This is often accomplished in small groups.

Small research projects to demonstrate ideas or concepts and learn the methodology.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade B in biology or additional science, mathematics and English.


Paper 1:

Introductory topics in psychology written exam: 2 hours 96 marks in total 33.3% of A Level multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks each

Paper 2:

Psychology in context written exam: 2 hours 96 marks in total 33.3% of A Level multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks each

Paper 3:

Issues and options in psychology written exam: 2 hours 96 marks in total 33.3% of A Level multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks three further topics from different sections, multiple choice, short answer and extended writing, 24 marks each

Future opportunities

About a quarter of those who study psychology at A Level at Woodbridge go on to study psychology at university; criminal psychology is currently very popular. Other courses pursued are education, nursing, business, advertising and marketing as well as law enforcement and the armed forces. Not surprisingly, the study of psychology equips you for any profession in which you might have to deal with other people!

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 April 2017
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