Psychology aims to help students develop their understanding of the way people think and why people behave in certain ways from a variety of perspectives, which is incredibly beneficial to the students in an ever-changing world.  The course enables students to develop their analytical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills which helps to prepare them for a range of careers in the future.

The course follows the AQA specification studying the core topics: social influence, memory, attachment, approaches, biopsychology, psychopathology, research methods and issues and debates. Of the optional content we have selected Gender, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology. We believe this selection of topics continues to develop the students’ interest with this subject, especially with Schizophrenia as Psychopathology proves to be one of the most popular topics within the first year. Gender helps to raise the student’s awareness on very current issues within society around the concept of Gender and Forensic Psychology also builds on students’ knowledge from the other Social Sciences.

Psychology is a challenging but rewarding subject that looks at both classical and contemporary research to show how our society has changed over time. Psychology provides an excellent base for many different academic courses or career routes in a variety of areas as students develop a wide-range of transferable skills to prepare them for their future.

Exam Board: AQA

Psychology Curriculum

Year 12Year 13
Autumn 1
Autumn 2
Spring 1
Spring 2
Summer 1
Summer 2
Introduction to Psychology and small induction

Experimental methods


Experimental techniques

Data analysis and statistical testing

Peer review

Conformity, types, Asch, Zimbardo

Obedience- Milgram, situational variables, social psychological factors, dispositional explanations

Resistance to Social Influence, minority influence and social change.

Introduction to memory

Coding, capacity and duration

Multi store model

And working memory model

Forgetting, interference and retrieval failure

Eye witness testimony

Introduction to attachment

Schaffer’s stages

Animal studies

Explanations of attachment, Learning theory and Bowlby’s theory

Ainsworth’s strange situation

Cultural variations

Maternal deprivation and orphan studies

Influence on later attachment

Origins of Psychology

Learning approach- behaviourism and social learning theory

The cognitive approach

The biological approach

Definitions of abnormality

The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias:.

The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression: Beck and Ellis

cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD:

Gender and culture in Psychology

Free will and determinism

Nature nurture

Holism and reductionism

Idiographic and nomothetic


Autumn 1
Autumn 2
Spring 1
Spring 2
Summer 1
Summer 2
Case studies

Content and thematic analysis

Reliability and validity

Statistical testing

Data Handling


Divisions of the nervous system

Nervous system and endocrine system

Neurons and synaptic transition

Localisation and function of the brain

Plasticity and functional recovery after trauma

Split brain research

Ways of investigating the brain

Biological rhythms

Endogenous pacemakers


Sex and Gender

Androgyny and the BSRI

The role of chromosomes and hormones

Cognitive explanations of gender development

Psychodynamic explanations

Social Learning explanations

The influence of culture and media

Atypical gender development


What is schizophrenia?

Biological explanations

Psychological explanations

Biological therapies

Psychological therapies

Interactionist approach


Neural and hormonal mechanisms

Genetic factors in aggression

Ethological explanation of aggression

Evolutionary explanation

Social psychological explanations of aggression

Institutional aggression in the context of prisons

Media influences on aggressions (computer games, desensitisation)

Revision and exam
Entry Requirements


  • 5 GCSES GRADES 4-9



Future Careers

Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Social Work, Child Development, Speech Therapy, Public Relations, Counselling.

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