Have you ever wondered what makes those around you tick, or struggled to understand why people behave the way they do? If you're fascinated by the intricacies of the human mind, then you're sure to enjoy AQA's A-level Psychology course.
In this engaging online course, you'll delve into topics such as the reliability and function of our memories, social conformity and resistance, the development of social cognition and different psychological schools of thought. A-level Psychology is an interesting and insightful course, designed to expand your understanding of humankind.
What you'll learn
Unit 1 - Social influence
To begin, you’ll learn about the various types of conformity and the explanations for it. It will introduce you to social role conformity and explanations for obedience, along with those for resistance to social influence. You’ll also look at the role of social influence in social change and minority influence.
Unit 2 - Memory
Next, you’ll explore the multi-store model of memory and the different types of long-term memory. You’ll learn about the working memory model and its different features, along with explanations for forgetting. Additionally, you’ll study factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony and what factors improve accuracy.
Unit 3 - Attachment
In this unit, you’ll look at some key psychologists who have studied the area of attachment. You’ll study caregiver and infant interactions and relationships, the different stages of attachment that humans go through during their lives and explain how this can vary between cultures. You’ll also evaluate the role of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships, including the role of an internal working model.
Unit 4 - Psychopathology
Put simply, psychopathology is the study of mental disorders, which is what you’ll be exploring in this unit. You’ll explore the behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as the behavioural approach to explaining and treating such conditions. Also, you’ll evaluate the cognitive and biological approaches to explaining and treating disorders such as depression.
Unit 5 - Approaches in psychology
Next, you’ll explore different learning approaches in psychology, including theories such as classical conditioning as described by Pavlov. You’ll study social learning theory, including imitation, identification, modelling and vicarious reinforcement. Moving on, you’ll delve into the psychodynamic approach, the role of the unconscious and the structure of personality, as well as humanistic psychological concepts such as free will and self-actualisation.
Unit 6 - Biopsychology
Moving on, you’ll look at the divisions of the central nervous system, the function of neurons and the process of synaptic transmission. You’ll also examine how the endocrine system works, including glands and hormones, along with the ‘fight or flight’ response and the role of adrenaline. Moving on, you’ll look at the different centres of the brain and what each of them is responsible for, how the brain recovers after trauma, what medical scanning techniques can tell us about the brain and its functions and more.
Unit 7 - Issues and debates in psychology
In unit seven, you’ll study issues and debates in psychology, including those surrounding culture and gender, ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. You’ll discuss the concepts of free will and determinism, the nature-nurture debate, biological and environmental reductionism and more.
Unit 8 - Relationships
In the eighth unit, you’ll look at evolutionary explanations for partner preferences, including the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour. You’ll also examine the factors that affect romantic attraction and relevant psychological concepts such as filter theory. You’ll also discuss virtual relationships in social media, along with parasocial relationships and the absorption-addiction model.
Unit 9 - Aggression
In the ninth unit, you’ll study aggression, including the bodily systems involved when this emotion is triggered inside the brain. You’ll examine ethnological explanations of aggression, including innate releasing mechanisms and fixed action patterns and the aspects of human aggression that can be explained by evolutionary traits. Moving on, you’ll look at aggression from a social psychological perspective, the role that institutions can play, along with the effects of outside influences such as computer games.
Unit 10 - Schizophrenia
In unit ten, you’ll take an in-depth look at schizophrenia. You’ll examine some of the classic symptoms associated with the disorder, such as hallucinations and delusions, along with some of the possible biological causes for the condition such as genetics. You’ll discover some of the typical drug therapies prescribed to sufferers, along with other treatments such as CBT. Finally, you’ll study the importance of an interactionist approach when managing schizophrenia and the diathesis-stress model.
Unit 11 - Research methods in psychology
Finally, you’ll look at how psychologists gather data via research. You’ll examine different techniques, such as observations, case studies, experiments and self-reporting, evaluating their strengths and limitations.
Unit 12 - Exam Prep
Now’s time to get your ready for the big day and do some exam prep.
AQA qualifications are internationally recognised and taught in 30 countries around the world, highly valued by employers and universities and enable young people to progress to the next stage of their lives. AQA qualifications suit a range of abilities and include GCSE courses, IGCSE courses and A-level courses.
After you've passed your exams, you'll be awarded an A-level Psychology qualification, issued by AQA. Your certificate is identical to that issued to students at any other school, college or university.
This syllabus (7182) has been chosen specifically because it is best suited to distance learning.
How is this course assessed or examined?
You can enrol now for AQA Psychology A-level examinations from Summer 2023.
You will be required to complete the three written exams:
- Paper 1: 2 hours, 33.3% of A-level, 96 marks.
- Paper 2: 2 hours, 33.3% of A-level, 96 marks.
- Paper 3: 2 hours, 33.3% of A-level, 96 marks.
It is strongly recommended that you have at least one science GCSE or equivalent, preferably a GCSE in Psychology. You also need to be comfortable dealing with numbers. This AQA A-level Psychology syllabus is a difficulty level three: an A-level or BTEC equivalent difficulty, usually suitable for most learners of all ages.