Y12: AS Psychology

Unit 1 (PSYA1): Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research Methods (50% of AS level, 25% of total A2 course)
Psychology is the science of human behaviour and experience. The first unit of work in this subject, lasting approximately 3 weeks, is designed to give pupils a broad introduction to the scope and nature of psychology as a science through the study of ‘research methods’ which underpin much of what psychology is all about. The remainder of the AS level year is split between learning about two broad areas of psychology; cognitive and development psychology. In the topic of cognitive psychology students are introduced to the study of human memory in order to better understand the mental processes and structures that underlie human behaviour. The topic of developmental psychology is concerned with how children and adults change as they get older. Developmental psychology looks at the various influences on early development such as peers, parents and others.

This unit is assessed through one exam lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.

Unit 2 (PSYA2) Biological Psychology, Social Psychology and Individual Differences (50% of AS, 25% of total A2 marks)

The first topic in this unit of work gives students an insight into the broad area of biological psychology through the study of stress. Students learn how stress affects our body in terms of physical processes and pupils will understand that the way an individual thinks and feels can influence these biological processes. Pupils will then study a topic from the board area of social psychology which is concerned with the study of human social behaviour and the influence that other people have on our behaviour. Pupils will learn about social influence and obedience and ask questions such as “why are we influenced by how the majority think or behave”?. The final area studied at AS level is a topic that introduces pupils to the study of psychopathology (the study of mental illness). Pupils will question how we define “abnormal behaviour” and explain how and why different areas of psychology explain the origins of mental disorders in different ways.

This unit is assessed through one exam lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.

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