AS and A-level Psychology

Psychology at South Wilts

Both South Wilts Grammar School and Bishop Wordsworth’s School students are taught Psychology at SWGS. As it is a Sixth Form only subject, our department is located centrally in the Sixth Form block. We have two Psychology dedicated classrooms where the subject is taught, also located within the Sixth Form block.

What are the entry requirements for Psychology?

Grade 6 or above in GCSE English Language and grade 6 or above in science and maths. Plus the enthusiasm to tackle a new and challenging subject

Why Study Psychology?

Psychology is the most popular A level in the country and for good reason! It is a fascinating subject with several applications to real life. Through the scientific study of human behaviour, students will learn valuable skills they can use in their everyday lives such as memory improvement and stress management techniques. In addition to this, students will gain a deep insight into interesting topics such as relationships, schizophrenia and aggression. Psychology is a challenging subject in which students will be stretched as they will approach these human problems from a scientific perspective. Students will be required to use their evaluative skills constantly to assess the theories and research they study, which will help them to become better learners in whatever field they choose to pursue.

Where can Psychology take you?

There are several routes you can take with a qualification in psychology. A degree in psychology can lead you to areas such as: 

• Medicine and related careers such as occupational therapy, nursing and speech therapy
• Teaching
• Police and law related work
• Psychological research
• Psychiatry
• Working with people with learning difficulties
• And much more!

Other information

• The Psychology department have links with outside agencies and invite visitors into the classroom. These include research students, a consultant Psychiatrist, mothers with their children and the police.
• The department host revision courses run by senior examiners.
• The department have links with students currently studying psychology at university.

Want to know more about Psychology? Click below!


 Psychology Specification at a glance: AQA
AS/Year 1
  Topic  Focus  Key Questions/Concepts
 Cognitive Psychology Memory • How do we remember things and why do we forget?
• Evaluating models of memory
• Real life application: Eyewitness Testimony
 Developmental Psychology Attachment • How do children form attachments to their parents?
• What happens if children don’t form attachments?
• Are attachments the same in all cultures?
  Research Methods (section 1)  How Science works in Psychology  • How are psychological studies carried out?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses of each method?
• How can we tell if a study is reliable?

Biological Psychology 
(section 1)

Nervous system/endocrine system

What are the key division of the nervous system?
What role does each part play?
What happens when we are stressed?
*What is the role and function of the endocrine system? 

  Social Psychology  Conformity and Obedience • Why do people conform and obey?
• Why do people refuse to conform or obey?
  Individual Differences  Psychopathology • What are the different ways in which “abnormality” is explained?
• What are the treatments for psychopathology?
Approaches to Psychology Origins of Psychology

• When did Psychology first begin?
• Who is the founder?
• How many approaches are they to explaining human behaviour?


Year 2
Issues and debates
    • • What is gender bias? How would we recognise it?
      • Are all cultures the same? Can we generalise research from USA and Europe?
      • Is it our genes or the environment that have the biggest influence on behaviour?
      • ICan we study all aspects of a human scientifically?

(section 2)

• Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation.
• How can we study the brain? EEGs?
• What biological rhythms exist? How do they help regulate our internal systems?


• How do we form relationships?
• How are relationships maintained?
• Are online relationships the same as real life?


• How can aggression be explained form Social Psychological perspectives?
• What Biological explanations account for aggression?
• What influence does the media have on aggression e.g. can computer games change your behaviour? 

Research Methods
The application of scientific method and data analysis.


• Selection and application of appropriate research methods for different types of study.
• Designing research; ethics, sampling, reliability and validity.
• Conventions of report writing e.g. abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and referencing. Including peer review.
• Data analysis, descriptive statistics and graphical representation.
• Data analysis; Probability and significance. Errors and factors affecting choice of statistical test.