A-level Psychology

Explore the fascinating subject of human behaviour and interaction whilst gaining a host of valuable skills that will help prepare you for university and/or a variety of career prospects.

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Overview

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.

Extra info

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Awarding Body

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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.

Recognised through UCAS

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This course carries UCAS points. This means that it can be used to gain direct access to University courses and other Higher Education, through the UCAS system.

Course Outcome

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Our Career Guides that include this course

How to Become a Psychologist

Read the career guide

Do you have an affinity for working with other people? Do you enjoy roles with variety? Would you like to...

FAQs

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Exam Results: I need to resit my exams, can I enrol with Oxbridge?

At Oxbridge, we take enrolments all year round. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll be able to get started right away. Studying online means your work and revision fit around you and your lifestyle. For example, if you have a part-time job or need to study alongside other subjects, you’ll be able to find time to fit our online courses into your schedule.

Enjoy flexible, convenient, affordable learning, fully supported by expert tutors who are passionate about their subjects. We pride ourselves on the quality of our course tutors and know that they hold the key to success. Whatever your goals, dreams or aspirations, Oxbridge is here to help you facilitate them.

Exam Results: When will I receive my certificate?

Oxbridge students who sat their exams through our partnership exam centres will usually receive their certificates in November. Certificates will be sent out by recorded delivery.

Wondering what to do next? There are so many options available, it’s important to get the right advice. Whether your choice is to continue onto further education, go into job training or get an apprenticeship and whether your grades are high or low – there are always options! Speak to an adviser today to see how we can support you on your next steps…

Exam Results: I didn't pass English or Maths, what do I do next?

First of all, don’t worry – everything will be okay. Unfortunately, if you didn’t get a grade 4 or higher (equivalent to a C or above) in your English and Maths, you will have to re-take it in order to pass. Oxbridge is ready and available to support you with this. Get in touch via live chat, phone or email.

Exam Results: I have individual unit marks, but no overall grade. What should I do?

Check for a cash-in code on your statement of entry. If there isn’t one, cash-in may not have been applied for. Cash-in can be applied for retrospectively from your exam centre and once entered you can expect an overall grade in one week.

Exam Results: I haven't done as well as I expected in my exams. Is there anything I can do?

Yes! There are a number of post-result services available. Your entering centre will be able to provide you with further information and will process any requests for you. If you’re not sure where to turn, our friendly learning advisers are on hand and ready to help you.

Can I study this AQA A-level course if I do not live in England?

Yes! All of our learning is online, however, you will need to sit your exams in England. Find out more about exams.

What can I do with my A-levels?

A-levels are a universal way to demonstrate academic competency in a multitude of disciplines. A-levels are subject-based qualifications that lead to either university, further study, training, or work. A-levels serve as a standardised way to demonstrate your academic ability and are very common entry requirements to most higher-level courses.

Why study an online A-level course from home?

A-levels can be studied from home with Oxbridge, using our online platform. On average we find that students receive 20% higher grades and pass around 30% more quickly than in a traditional college.

How many UCAS points is an A-level course?

A-levels are the most common way to access university in the UK. The system in which this is done is called UCAS. This stands for: “the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service”. See the A-level UCAS tariff points breakdown below:

  • A* – 56
  • A – 48
  • B – 40
  • C – 32
  • D – 24
  • E – 16
What A-Level courses should I take?

If you’re planning on going on to a degree, your chosen university will usually publish their entry requirements for each course on their website. See how these subjects feel and decide if you would enjoy them as they will form much of the base knowledge for your degree.

If you’re not entirely sure what to study, there are some standard subjects that many students choose to help them secure a place at a prestigious university, such as one of the Russell Group universities. These courses are known as the ‘facilitating courses’ and include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English Literature, Geography, History, Maths, Further Maths, Modern Languages and Classical Languages.

Generally speaking, taking two facilitating subjects will allow you to keep your progression options open. For further help and guidance, we have written a detailed guide on How to Choose A-Levels.

How long does it take to study an A-level?

It’s possible to study an A-level course both full-time and part-time. Normally students would study for two years, but with Oxbridge, you can also fast-track your course to complete it in one year.

What are A-Levels?

A-levels (also known as Advanced level qualifications) entail in-depth study of a chosen subject in order to open doors to further study including University, training, and work.

A-levels courses tend to focus on specific academic subjects such as Mathematics, English and the Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course material and the exams you take will be the same everywhere.

Is being a psychologist stressful?

Psychologists can often work long or unsociable hours, alongside patients in difficult situations. For these reasons, at times some people may find psychology to be a stressful career. That said, it’s rarely a boring vocation, and it can frequently be incredibly rewarding.

Is a career in psychology for me?

If you have a deep interest in the workings of the human mind and behaviour, and you want a challenging career working closely with people, then psychology may be the career for you.

Is it too late to start a career in psychology?

It’s never too late to start a career in psychology, whether you’re considering changing direction after studies in an unrelated field, or you want a fresh start after years or decades following a different path. Studying psychology online is easy, flexible and convenient, which opens up this exciting field to everyone – regardless of age or previous experience.

Why study psychology with Oxbridge?

We offer courses for beginners through to more advanced levels, so there will be a course to suit everyone’s experience and ability. All of our courses are created by industry experts and taught online by experienced tutors.

The best part is that all our courses are flexible, which is perfect if you’re in full-time employment or have other commitments preventing you from attending a physical location to study.

Are you ready to join the hundreds of recently enrolled students of all ages and backgrounds, enhancing their careers through an online psychology course with Oxbridge? Enrol online or speak to a learning adviser for more information or advice.

How can I learn psychology on my own?

We get it; you want to become a psychologist but don’t want to upheave your entire life to retrain or study. You also may not be too thrilled at the idea of being forced to learn at the pace of a whole class. Instead, you want to qualify by yourself.

That’s where online psychology courses come in. Once you’ve enrolled, you simply log into your learning portal and study at a time and pace that suits you. And if you do need additional help and support, you can request an online one-to-one with your personal tutor.

How do I start a career in psychology?

You could begin with an introductory course that covers a selection of psychological practices. This could be at GCSE level or even a level 3 psychology course. 

From here, you could study a more specialised course such as educational psychology, an advanced diploma in psychology, or neuro-linguistic programming. And if you wish, you can use your new knowledge to apply for a university-level course.

Once you’ve got some qualifications under your belt, you can start applying for jobs in your chosen field of psychology.

Are there assignments for this Psychology AQA A-level course?

Yes, during your course, you’ll be required to complete tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). These do not contribute to your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

Who should study A-level Psychology?

Our Psychology A-level is ideal for anyone considering a career as a psychologist, counsellor, police officer and any number of other fascinating professions. A-level Psychology will also equip you with crucial skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and reasoning.

How much do exams cost?

Exam fees vary depending on where you sit them. Planning on studying A-levels or GCSEs with us? Learn more about our exam process for these course categories.

Students can contact our partnership centre to find out more – you can find their details on MyOxbridge under NEAS and Exams.

Courses Taught by Experts

Laura

Health care

For 10+ years, my passion for helping learners develop and grow has driven my career as a teacher. To help me progress even further, I am currently studying to achieve the IQA award. I love reading and I’m a self-professed Harry Potter fan. Talk to me about all things history, rock music, tattoos and true crime podcasts. 

Laura, tutor

Kelly

Counselling and Psychology

I always knew that a career focused around helping people achieve their goals was perfect for me. That’s why I became a tutor. I love to see my student’s confidence flourish as they progress through their courses. It’s important to help them fit their learning goals around their personal commitments so they have the best chance of success! 

Kelly, tutor

Faye

Early Years

Beginning my career as an early years practitioner inspired me to step into the world of teaching. I have since elevated my skillset through a range of qualifications including L3 in Assessing Vocational Achievement, L3 in Education & Training and L4 in Internal Quality Assurance. I’m a big kid at heart; I love Disney movies and also dabble in photography.  

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Penny

Art

Marine biology, jellyfish conservationist, hairdresser, fitness instructor… I have an eclectic backstory! Art is my passion and one of my proudest moments was achieving my Masters in Fine Art. I then requalified as an Art teacher to share my knowledge with my students. For most of my career, I’ve supported vulnerable students with additional needs such as SEMH and SEN.

penny-tc_compressed

Sarah

Education and Childcare

My 30-year stride in education started with childminding, to working with pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I then tutored in a national reading programme and went on to become a Higher-Level TA. I’m elated to say I graduated with a First-Class BA Honours Degree when I was 50 – living proof that it’s never too late to chase your dreams!

Sarah
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Craig was very helpful, he listened to what I wanted to achieve, and helped me select the best course to start me on my path.
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Amazing from start to finish
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Oxbridge home learning have been amazing! such lovely, brilliant people that work their, I studied level 3 in psychology, my tutor Heidi was amazing! and friendly, she marked my course work quickly and always gave me positive feedback, and answered any questions that I had about the course & each unit of work and also assignment questions when I was struggling. Thank you Oxbridge and thank you Heidi, I am now on my way to becoming a qualified councillor with this qualification.
C
Very impressed
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I called Oxbridge after perusing their website and spoke with a very polite career advisor. My questions were answered knowledgably and I was supported and guided to a qualification that best suited my long-term goals. When the course arrived I was very impressed and I loved that it was also on-line because I have a young child who needs my attention often. I loved that I was able to work at my own pace, with no pressure. I loved that you can genuinely complete the modules as fast or as slow as needed and I felt as though I learned a broad spectrum of content. Oxbridge offered me fantastic supportive teachers, I have only positive things to say. I highly recommend this college to others.
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Fantastic Life Coaching course and support
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I have recently completed my NCFE Level 3 Life Coaching Course. From my intial enrolment to completion of the course the service has been 5 star. Any queries were explained and the customer service was superb. I would like to acknowledge the fanstastic support and excellent communication from beginning to end of my tutor Sarah Tottle. As a city proffessional and leader, I have high expectations of service delivery and time management. Sarah exemplified both. I would highly recommend Oxbridge Home Learning. A great team, doing great things. Chris Middleton
HW
5* service from the moment I enquired online
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I couldn't recommend Oxbridge home learning enough, I received 5* service from the moment I enquired online, I then spoke to a lovely lady over the phone who was one of the course advisors, she made me feel at ease and explained exactly what courses I would need to enrol on to teach lash extensions. I completed the cava course and the education and training award in 9 months and im now fully qualified and in the process of setting up my training academy, my tutor always responded swiftly and marked my assignments very quickly. My life has been changed around.
CP
What an amazing company!
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I am currently taking a Skills in Business Level 3 Diploma and have been nothing but impressed with Oxbridge Home Learning so far. Throughout the signing up process, Hayley helped me extensively to get started and get the course materials through as quickly as possible. She wasn't just trying to sell the course to me like other places that I enquired about, Hayley was genuinely interested in my needs and how she could help that, whether that resulted in buying the course or not. The materials given are incredible, easy to follow chapters and just enough information to ensure that you can understand easily. The content itself is really interesting and is made even more easier for me by breaking the course down into little, manageable assessments instead of one big portfolio or exam. My tutor, Jade, has been brilliant in getting back to me so quickly, both with questions and marking. Feedback has been really relevant and helpful with a breakdown of grades achieved. So far I can honestly say, having signed up for a few other courses and being let down, this is the best course all round by far. Everywhere will have positive and negative reviews however I would definitely recommend this course and company to anyone who wishes to study and gain an extra qualification.
HH
Thank you Oxbridge!
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Thank you Oxbridge for being brilliant! Very professional, always supportive and happy to help. Fantastic communications, clear course materials and concise expectations. I regularly recommend the STALIS level 3 course on Facebook forums. I'm considering doing level 4 and definitely won't go anywhere else!
CH
I enrolled with Oxbridge for the STL…
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I enrolled with Oxbridge for the STL Level 3 Certificate in February and I have really enjoyed the process. It took me years to build up the confidence to go for what I wanted and the thought of going to a college to do it made me want to hide away. Finding Oxbridge was like a light at the end of the tunnel and I have not regretted it one bit. Being able to work around my 3 young children, work and volunteering in a school all day, was one of the best things about taking the course with Oxbridge. I cannot thank my tutor Kerry Ore enough for all of the support she has given me throughout my learning journey. Any time I emailed with a query, I had a reply from Kerry within minutes. When I sent Units to her to be marked, they were marked and sent back within days (I think the longest was around a week), or if there was anything that needed to be added to a unit I was made aware of it quickly. Kerry is absolutely amazing and is a credit to Oxbridge. The course material was fantastic along with the online learning portal and it was laid out in a way that is easy to understand. The interactive scenario's were fab too. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this course and building on my skills and knowledge. This course has given me new found confidence too. I have enjoyed my experience that much, that I will be enquiring about new courses in the coming months (I'm going to enjoy this achievement for a while first :) ). Thank you very much Oxbridge and a special thank you Kerry Ore :)
EJ
Brilliant and supportive.
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I contacted Oxbridge to enquire about English Functional Skills Level 2 about a month ago. I needed to pass this course to be able to attend University this September. I completed the course work with the help of Jade and sat the exams at the Birmingham Office, I just received my pass results. I am thrilled, Jade is excellent and helped me every step of the way. Would highly recommend Oxbridge.
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Are you ready to change your world?

We appreciate being bold is easier said than done. This is why the team at Oxbridge aim to help you feel confident and rest assured in taking your next steps. Our friendly, knowledgeable Learning advisers are always on hand to offer you the best guidance.