Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. Currently one of the most popular courses at a university level in the UK, Psychology has led to the developing understanding of topics including mental health disorders, social influence and aggression. This A-Level course reflects the multi-faceted nature of the social science.
In the first year of the course you’ll cover the following topics:
The approaches in Psychology – Here you will consider the different, conflicting theories of psychologists that make up the approaches in psychology. These include, the behaviourist, cognitive and psychodynamic approaches.
Biopsychology – In this part of the course you will be delving deeper into one of the aforementioned approaches, the biological approach, otherwise known as biopsychology. This will involve looking in more detail on the role of the brain, genetics and neurotransmitters on behaviour.
Psychopathology – Here you will look at the explanations of abnormality and explanations of and ways to treat three mental health conditions: phobias, OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder), and depression.
Memory – In this topic you will be studying the models of memory, short-term and long-term memory, why people forget information as well as the factors that can affect eye-witness testimony.
Attachment – Here you will be looking at the bond between children and their caregivers. What do different explanations say? How do attachments differ between cultures? How do these attachments, or in some cases, lack thereof, impact later behaviour?
Social influence – Why do people follow orders despite their perceived negative outcomes? Why do people conform to groups? What influences these decisions and how can they be resisted? These are all questions you will be delving into in this topic.
Research methods – Here you will look at why psychology is regarded as a science. You will see the different types of psychological investigations, the different types of samples, how to present findings as well as some statistical testing.
In the second year of the course you’ll cover the following topics:
Research methods – Developing upon the content you covered in your first year here you will be looking at reliability and the types of validity. In addition, you will be studying when you need to carry out particular statistical tests, and how to do this.
Issues and debates – Here you will discuss some of the major issues and debates in Psychology, including: Is human behaviour the product of genetic inheritance or the environment? To what extent are psychological theories gender biased? Or biased in terms of gender? Are our thoughts and behaviour freely chosen or determined by factors we can’t control? And many more!
Schizophrenia – In this topic you will be studying one of the most widely misunderstood mental health conditions, Schizophrenia. Within the subject you will be looking at the different explanations of how the disorder develops, and how it can be treated.
Relationships – Here you will look at human reproductive behaviour, the factors affecting attraction, theories of romantic relationships, relationship breakdown, virtual relationships and para-social relationships.
Aggression – In this topic you will be looking at the different explanations of aggression. You will be studying the genetic explanations of aggression as well as their social counterparts. In addition, you will be examining aggression in the context of prisons, as well as the influence of media on aggressive behaviour.