Psychology GCSE

Psychology is the science of the mind; the study of, among other things, how our thought processes work, why we behave the way we do and how we learn.
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Ever wondered why we think and act the way we do or what shapes our individual personalities? If you’d love to gain a deeper understanding of the human thought process as well as gain a unique insight into the forces that shape our everyday interactions, GCSE psychology is the course for you.

Not only is it a great option if you’d like to study this subject at A-level or university, but the skills you’ll gain will also come in handy for numerous careers such as teaching, policing, probation work, and counselling.

What you will learn

  1. Unit 1 - Course Introduction

    • Introduction to Psychology
    • About Paper 1 Cognition and Behaviour
    • About Paper 2 Social Context and Behaviour
    • Recommended Reading List
  2. Unit 2 - Aided and Unaided Observations

    • Processes of memory
    • Encoding, storage and retrieval
    • Long-term and short-term memory
    • Structures of memory
    • Memory as an active process
    • Factors affecting memory
  3. Unit 3 - Perception

    • Processes of memory
    • Perception and sensation
    • Visual cues and depth perception
    • Visual illusions and theories of perception
    • Gibson’s direct theory and Gregory’s constructivist theory
    • Factors affecting perception
    • Culture, emotion, motivation and expectation
  4. Unit 4 - Development

    • Early brain development
    • Piaget’s theory
    • The theory of conservation and egocentrism
    • Stages of cognitive development
    • Application in education
    • Effects of learning on development
    • Dweck’s mindset theory of learning
    • The role of praise and self-efficacy
    • Learning styles
    • Willingham’s learning theory
  5. Unit 5 - Research Methods

    • Designing data
    • Starting out hypotheses and variables
    • Extraneous variables
    • Types of the experiment
    • Experimental designs
    • Sampling methods
    • Ethical considerations
    • Designing research
    • Interviews and questionnaires
    • Correlations
    • Case studies
    • Reliability and validity
    • Types of data
    • Descriptive statistics
    • Interpretation and display of quantitative data
    • Computation
  6. Unit 6 - Social Influence

    • Conformity
    • Asch’s study
    • Social and dispositional factors
    • Obedience
    • Milgram’s study
    • Milgram’s agency theory (social factors)
    • Adorno’s theory (dispositional factors)
    • Prosocial behaviours
    • Piliavin’s subway study
    • Social and dispositional factors
    • The crowd and collective behaviour
    • Deindividualisation
    • A case study
    • Social and dispositional factors
  7. Unit 7 - Language, Thought and Communication

    • Language and thought
    • Piaget’s theory
    • The Sapir-Whorf hypotheses
    • A review of the world
    • Human and animal communication
    • Von Frisch’s bee study
    • Human versus animal communication
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Eye contact
    • Body language
    • Personal space
    • Explanations of non-verbal behaviour
    • Evidence of nature: Darwin’s evolutionary theory
    • Non-verbal response: innate or learned?
    • Evidence of nurture: Yoki’s study of emoticons
  8. Unit 8 - The Brain and Neuropsychology

    • Structure and function of the nervous system
    • The structure of the nervous system
    • The function of the nervous system
    • The autonomic nervous system
    • The James Lang theory of emotion
    • Neuron structure and function
    • neuron and electrical transmission
    • Synapses and chemical transmission
    • Hebb’s theory of learning
    • Structure and function in the brain
    • The localisation of function in the brain
    • Penfield’s study of the interpretive cortex
    • Introduction to neuropsychology
    • Cognitive neuroscience
    • Neurological damage
    • Scanning techniques to identify brain functioning
    • Tulving “gold” memory study
  9. Unit 9 - Psychological Problems

    • An introduction to mental health
    • Effects of mental health problems
    • Depression
    • Types of depression and diagnosing depression
    • Theories of depression: biological
    • Theories of depression: psychological
    • Therapies for depression: medication
    • Therapies for depression: CBT
    • Therapies for depression: Wiles study
    • Addiction
    • Characteristics of addiction and diagnosing addiction
    • Theories of addiction: biological
    • Theories of addiction: psychological
    • Therapies for addiction: aversion therapy
    • Therapies for addiction: self-management
  10. Unit 10 - Preparing for the GCSE examination: Paper 1 & 2

    • Paper 1 – Cognition and Behaviour
    • Paper 2 – Social Context and Behaviour
    • Revision tips

Awarding Bodyaqa@8x

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 coursesIGCSE courses and A-level courses.

Course Outcome

Upon successful completion of this home learning course, you will receive a GCSE in Psychology (8182), issued by AQA. This syllabus has been chosen specifically because it is best suited to distance learning.

How is this course assessed or examined?

You’ll be required to complete the two GCSE standard written exams, all of which must be taken in the same session.

  • Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of GCSE, 100 marks.
  • Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of GCSE, 100 marks.

We provide a guaranteed exam space in one of our partner exam centres around the UK. Check where your closest exam centre is.

During your course, there is no coursework to complete but you will be required to complete nine assignments and one introductory. 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.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this level two course; however, it is recommended that you have an intermediate ability to read and write in English

Past Papers

You can access past papers for this course. They are free to access and cover a range of exam boards.

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