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Psychology A Level at De Montfort School

Course description

Year 12

  • Social influence: why we conform to others and to social roles. Explanations of obedience and why some people are able to resist social influence and authority pressures. We look at important minority influences and why they are so effective.
  • Memory: how do we process memories? Why are some people able to remember more than others? How do memories become long term memories?
  • Attachment: why do we form attachments to our parents and others? Is attachment natural? What happens if we are unable to form attachments? We consider different theories to the above questions and consider the supporting studies.
  • Approaches in Psychology: different explanations of behaviour in psychology, we consider the behaviourist approach, the biological approach and the cognitive approach in explaining behaviour.
  • Psychopathology: phobias, depression and OCD; their explanations and treatments and defining abnormality.
  • Biopsychology: the biology behind our human behaviour, including the stress response.
  • Research methods: in psychology it is vital we do research in order to support our theories. We look at different research methods and the strengths and weaknesses of each, analysing data using descriptive statistics and graphs.

Year 13

  • Issues and debates in psychology: Gender and culture in psychology, Free will and determinism, The nature-nurture debate, Holism and reductionism, Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation, Ethical implications of research studies and theory.  Relationships: theories of relationship formation, Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships, Parasocial relationships, Virtual relationships in social media.
  • Schizophrenia: symptoms and classifications of schizophrenia, explanations of schizophrenia (biological, psychological), therapies for treating schizophrenia including drug therapy and CBT.
  • Addiction: describing addiction, risk factors in the development of addiction, including genetic vulnerability, stress, personality, family influences and peers, explanations for nicotine addiction: brain neurochemistry, including the role of dopamine, and learning theory as applied to smoking behaviour, including reference to cue reactivity, explanations for gambling addiction: learning theory as applied to gambling, reducing addiction – therapies.
  • Inferential statistics and research methods: Introduction to statistical testing; the sign test, probability and significance: use of statistical tables and critical values in interpretation of significance; Type I and Type II errors, factors affecting the choice of statistical test, including level of measurement and experimental design, when to use the following tests: Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r, Wilcoxon, MannWhitney, related t-test, unrelated t-test and Chi-Squared test.

Entry requirements

Grade C or above in GCSE Science, as well as Grade 5 or above in GCSE English and Mathematics.


The course is broken down into 3 exams. All the topics are assessed at the end of Year 13. Each exam is 2 hours long and worth 33.3% of A Level.

Future opportunities

Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, Accountancy, Human Resources, Forensic Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Teaching, Nursing.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 February 2017
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