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Psychology is the study of people and their behaviour.  Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on understanding how research by psychologists furthers our knowledge of what affects our behaviour and how it can be changed.  Students also get the opportunity to conduct their own research as part of the course.

Psychology A-level Edexcel

Year 12

Topic 1

Social Psychology

  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Obedience
  • Use of surveys
  • Ethical issues in research

Topic 2

Cognitive Psychology

  • Memory and forgetting
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Use of experiments
  • Analysis of quantitative data
  • Statistical testing

Topic 3

Biological Psychology

  • Central nervous system
  • The role of genes, evolution and hormones in  development
  • The role of the brain
  • Aggression
  • Freud’s psychodynamic theories
  • Use of twin and adoption studies
  • Use of PET, CAT and fMRI scans

Topic 4

The Learning Theories

  • Classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory
  • Media violence
  • Causes and treatments of phobias
  • Anorexia
  • Use of observations
  • Use of animal experiments
  • Animal ethics
  • Analysis of qualitative data

Year 13

Clinical Psychology

  • Definitions of abnormality
  • Diagnosis of mental illness
  • Causes and treatments of schizophrenia
  • Causes and treatments of depression
  • How attitudes to mental health have changed in the media
  • Use of case studies and interviews
  • Primary and secondary data

Either Criminal Psychology

  • Causes of crime
  • Treating offenders
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Factors affecting jury decision making
  • Use of laboratory and field experiments

Or Child Psychology

  • Attachment
  • Deprivation and privation
  • Autism
  • Daycare
  • Use of observations and questionnaires/interviews
  • Cross cultural studies

Issues and debates

  • Ethics
  • Issues related to socially sensitive research
  • Research methods
  • Contributions of Psychology to society
  • Is Psychology a science?
  • Comparisons of ways of explaining behaviour
  • Cultural and gender issues in psychological research
  • Nature nurture debate
  • Social control
  • How psychological understanding has developed over time