Curriculum – KS5 Psychology

Examination Board: AQA

Units Taken: 1 – Introductory Topics In Psychology, 2 – Psychology In Context and 3 – Issues and Options in Psychology

Link to Specification: Click here.


Course Content

The course is split into three papers, each with a different focus on an aspect of Psychology.

Paper One – Introductory Topics In Psychology

Students learn about memory, how it works and what happens when it goes wrong; abnormality, what causes OCD, phobias and depression and how different approaches in psychology treat these; why people obey and conform and how our childhood affects our subsequent development.

Paper Two – Psychology in Context

Consists of biopsychology, looking at the role of the brain and it’s functioning, the nervous system, hormones and neurotransmitters and how bodily rhythms all influence behaviour. It also examines the main theoretical perspectives in Psychology; the Psychodynamic, Behaviourism, Humanistic and Cognitive approaches as well as understanding the fundamental aspects of how to carry out Psychological studies (Research Methods) and analyse data.

Paper three – Issues and Options in Psychology

Examines the key issues and debates within the field of psychology including freewill and determinism, the nature – nurture debate and ethics. In addition students study the topics of Aggression, looking at biological and social explanations of aggression and how the media influences aggressive behaviour; Schizophrenia, how it’s caused and treated and Relationships, including romantic and virtual relationships and attraction to celebrities.


Skills Gained from Taking this Course

Students develop some of the key skills of a Psychologist throughout the course. They learn how to plan, carry out, and analyse their own research.

They will be able to carry out observations, experiments and interviews competently. They develop the higher order skills of synthesis and application, many of the examination questions require students to apply their knowledge to real life situations.

They will also learn how to analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence so they can make judgements and reach conclusions.

Studying Psychology delivers skills employers value, such as numerical skills, the ability to understand and work with statistics, effective communication and the ability to work productively in teams. As well as being able to effectively write focused, concise and well balanced essays.


St Marylebone Entry Requirements

To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.


Subject Specific Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in Maths GCSE, Grade 6 in English Language GCSE and either a grade 6 in combined Science or single science Biology.


Entry Suggestions

Students wishing to take Psychology should:

  • Have an interest in people and the world around them.
  • Understand that psychology is a science and therefore will include aspects of biology – such as understanding the role of the nervous system and hormones / neurotransmitters and different functions of the brain, synapses etc.
  • Be comfortable with format of writing up or conducting an experiment -hypothesis, aim, method procedure etc.
  • Be comfortable with some aspects of maths i.e. statistics: descriptive and inferential, data handling, correlations, quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  • For the above two points, must gains a grade B or above in GCSE Science and grade C in Maths.
  • Be able to understand, analyse, evaluate, draw conclusions and apply ideas.
  • Be comfortable expressing ideas in essay format.

If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:

Watch the following clips (10 mins long each) as an introduction to aspects of the course you will be studying.

  1. Pick out the KEY TERMS and create a glossary of these and their meanings.
  2. Write a summary paragraph of what the main points covered in the clip are.
Intro to Psychology Intro to Research Methods
The Chemical Brain Getting to Know Your Brain
Sleep & Dreaming How to Train Your Brain – Classical & Operant Conditioning
The Bobo Beatdown (Learning Through Observation) How We Make Memories
Remembering & Forgetting The Growth of Knowledge
Monkeys and Morality Freud
Psychological Disorders OCD & Anxiety
Depression & Bipolar Disorder Schizophrenia
Psychotherapy Biological Treatments
Social Thinking Social Influence

Resources Needed for this Course:

Online textbook provided