A Level Psychology (Reformed 2015)

What is Psychology?

Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of human behavior and how humans experience the world around them from a rational, scientific point of view rather than from a mythical or spiritual view.

The new Edexcel specification covers a wide variety of topics and you will enrol on either an AS or an A level course.

AS students will sit one written examination and the A level students will sit three written examinations.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Psychology is a unique subject in that it suits a wide range of students. Because of the variable nature of the exam and the different schools of Psychology itself, students from both science & art subjects can easily adapt to this subject.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Subjects are studied using a wide range of methods, including the study of classical texts, a range of practical studies and research methods. This is backed up by setting regular homework and weekly timed assignments based on past exam questions. Emphasis is particularly placed on developing skills to effectively answer questions relating to real life or novel situations.

AS Specification Edexcel 8PS0

Topic 1 - Social psychology

  • Obedience
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Research Methods
  • Studies in detail
  • Key issue
  • Practical investigation
  • Issues and debates

Topic 2 - Cognitive Psychology

  • Memory
  • Dyslexia
  • Alzheimer's
  • Research Methods
  • Studies in detail
  • Key issue
  • Practical Investigation
  • Issues and debates

Topic 3 - Biological psychology

  • Central Nervous System
  • Aggression
  • Research Methods
  • Studies in detail
  • Key issue
  • Practical Investigation
  • Issues and debates

Topic 4 - Learning Theories

  • Classical Conditioning
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Phobias
  • Research Methods
  • Studies in detail
  • Key issue
  • Practical Investigation
  • Issues and debates

Assessment

Paper 1 

  • 50% of the total qualification
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Covers content from topics 1-2

Paper 2 

  • 50% of the total qualification
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Covers content from topics 3-4

Reading list

AuthorTitle
Christine Brain Edexcel Psychology for A Level Book 1
Christine Brain Edexcel Psychology for A Level Book 2
Susan Harty and Mr James Bailey Edexcel AS/A Level Psychology

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

The A-level course aims to build on the knowledge and understanding developed during the AS course. The importance of wider reading to build a holistic knowledge of the subject is further emphasised in order to make links between the areas of theory covered. Again, this is supported by setting regular homework and weekly timed assignments based on past exam questions. Emphasis is particularly placed on developing knowledge and understanding to effectively answer synoptic questions and novel situations.

A Level Specification Edexcel 9PS0

Topics 1-4, plus:

Topic 5 - Clinical psychology

  • Diagnosis of mental disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anorexia
  • Culture
  • Research Methods
  • Studies in detail
  • Key Issue
  • Practical Investigation
  • Issues and debates

Topic 6-8 - Child psychology

  • Attachment, deprivation and privation
  • Daycare
  • Autism
  • Research Methods
  • Studies in detail
  • Key Issue
  • Practical Investigation
  • Issues and debates

Topic 9 - Psychological skills (research methods)

  • Descriptive Stats
  • Inferential Stats
  • Ethics
  • Synoptic review of studies
  • Issues and Debates

Assessment

Paper 1 

  • 35% of the total qualification
  • 2 hours
  • Covers content from topics 1-4

Paper 2 

  • 35% of the total qualification
  • 2 hours
  • Covers content from topics 5-8

Paper 3 

  • 30% of the total qualification
  • 2 hours
  • Covers content from topic 9

Reading list

AuthorTitle
Christine Brain Edexcel Psychology for A Level Book 1
Christine Brain Edexcel Psychology for A Level Book 2
Susan Harty and Mr James Bailey Edexcel AS/A Level Psychology

For full specification details, consult the exam board’s website on www.edexcel.org.uk