Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. Psychologists observe and conduct experiments to find out more about the way people act and interact.

Psychologists try to understand what motivates, challenges or changes us and use this understanding to help us tackle personal and social problems.

At A level, students learn about why we behaviour the way we do based on the interplay between genetics, neuroscience and the environment around us.

Psychology is useful for any job that requires lots of interaction or an understanding of human behaviour and development. People with skills in psychology are sought after in business, management, teaching, research, social work and careers in medicine and healthcare.

If you are interested in becoming a psychologist, you can work in a huge range of sectors including:

  • Sports – helping athletes to build mental strategies to improve their performance and handle pressure. 
  • Education – studying child development and helping children experiencing difficulties with their education. 
  • Clinical and counselling – treating people with mental health needs. 
  • Forensic - assessing and treating criminal behaviour, which can involve working with

The AQA Psychology exams structure

The exams are all worth 96 marks and representing 33.3% of the overall grade; 2 hours.

Each section in each paper will include a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing; each section totals 24 marks.

In Paper 2 Research methods is worth 48 marks, the exam remains 2 hours long. Research methods is worth 25% -30% of the A level and is a key component.

12% of the A level will test mathematical skills equivalent to level 7 maths at Key stage 4 consist of the following:

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology
  • Section A: Social Influence
  • Section B: Memory
  • Section C: Attachment
  • Section D: Psychopathology

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

  • Section A: Approach in Psychology
  • Section B: Biopsychology
  • Section C: Research Methods
Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology
  • Section A: Issues and debates in Psychology
  • Section B: Relationships
  • Section C: Schizophrenia
  • Section D: Aggression

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