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

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.