What you need to know
You will be required to complete statistical tests as well as write extended essays. This year the exam changes mean that you will be required to complete mathematical calculations for 10% of the marks in the final exam. Therefore, a basic comprehension and enthusiasm for maths is essential.
You are not required to have studied GCSE Psychology, but students should be prepared to:
• Conduct and write-up practical investigations for each topic including a questionnaire, an experiment, a correlation and an observation.
• Develop a broad range of skills including essay writing, statistics and biological understanding.
• Keep a glossary of key terms which is updated on a weekly basis.
• Apply your psychological knowledge to unseen scenarios and issues in society
• Complete statistical tests and analysis.
• Complete summary notes of lesson material on a weekly basis for each topic.
• Students are expected to spend at least 2 hours extra per week completing wider reading and extra notes on their class activities.
Want to get a headstart in A Level Psychology?
Psychology regularly appears in the news as part of social issues, so taking an interest in public affairs will be of benefit.
The following are non-essential reading for psychology.
Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century, Lauren Slater
Essentials of Social Psychology, Hogg, M. A. and G. M. Vaughan (2010)
Key concepts in developmental psychology, Schaffer, H. R. (2006)
A Beautiful Mind, Sylvia Nasar
Psychology is based in the Social Sciences Department, and partners particularly well with Sociology.
Due to the broad range of skills required in psychology and the variety of topics, it complements the majority of other subjects at A Level. There are units which cross over topics in History, Geography and Law. Essay writing subjects like English require similar synoptic skills and the comprehension of science and maths skills is also useful from those subjects for research methods.