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Psychology A level at Chatham Grammar School for Girls

Course description

To give candidates a fundamental understanding of theory, concepts and research in Psychology. For example: explaining and treating mental disorders such as Eating Disorders, Schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive disorder; the influence of genetics; the psychology of child development; brain function and consequences of brain damage e.g. aphasias/split-brain/ brain plasticity

A critical appreciation of the scientific nature of Psychology. Opportunity to develop a capacity for critical and evaluative skills, an appreciation of the relationship between the different aspects of the subject and the ability to relate them to contemporary issues. For example: law; mental health; counselling and therapy; criminal and forensic work. Philosophical considerations of concepts such as free will and determinism (causality), nature and nurture, mind and body.


Course content

Paper 1 Introductory Topics in Psychology 

•  Social Influence; conformity and obedience  

•  Memory; memory and forgetting/amnesia and brain damage/ Eye Witness testimony and Law.

•  Attachment; The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships

•  Psychopathology; characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Explaining and treating phobias, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).


Paper 2 -Psychology In Context

•  Approaches in Psychology; Biopsychology, Behavioural and Learning Psychology, the genetic basis of behaviour e.g. schizophrenia; impact of brain damage on function e.g. stroke damage; treating phobias and OCD

•  The cognitive approach: the study of internal mental processes, the use of theoretical and computer models to explain mental processes.  Cognitive neuroscience. Artificial intelligence. Expert systems

•  Biopsychology: The divisions of the nervous system. The structure and function of neurons. The process of synaptic transmission. The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones. 

• Research Methods: Planning research, experimental and non-experimental methods, representing data and descriptive statistics, ethics.


Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

Optional topics including:

  • Relationships; Gender; Cognition and Development
  • Schizophrenia, Eating Behaviour (anorexia nervosa, obesity); Stress (managing and treating including drug therapies)
  • Aggression; Forensic Psychology; Addiction

Debates in psychology; free will versus determinism, nature versus nurture; holism versus reductionism and others


Course Skills

Analysis, Interpretation, Evaluation, Theory and its application.  

Entry requirements

All students must obtain five C grade passes at GCSE (a GNVQ qualification will also be considered). In addition we expect students to have achieved a B grade at GCSE in Mathematics and a C Grade in Additional Science.  


3 examinations each of:

•       2 hour written exam

•       96 marks

•       33.3% of A-level 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Chatham Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 26 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September