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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE


AS Course Outline

What Is Psychology?


Psychology at AS does not require previous GCSE experience of the subject. It will be suited to students who have an interest in both human behaviour and the workings of the mind. Psychology has the advantage of both being considered a science subject but also as having immediate appeal for those who are more inclined towards subjects such as English Literature, History and Modern Languages.

Psychology strives to understand why people behave and think in certain ways, examining all aspects and stages of life. If you are interested in such issues as why people are independent or obedient, how early experiences in childhood may affect you as an adult, how memory works, what leads people to become mentally ill, and many more, then Psychology is the ideal choice.

At AS, students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of psychology (social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences) through a range of topics, chosen for their accessibility and popularity. These include memory, infant attachment, stress, social influence and psychopathology.

Students will also learn how psychology functions as a science and how best to design studies in order to test explanations of behaviour.

What Skills Will Students Develop When Studying Psychology?

Psychology enables students to become more aware of the variety and complexity of the human mind and students will also gain a better understanding of their own personality as well as the personalities of those around them.

Students will learn how to express themselves in both concise and more discursive ways and will develop evaluative skills that will be essential for their future academic success.

Students will also apply numeracy skills as 10% of marks in assessments will require the use of mathematical skills gained at GCSE Higher level.

PSYCHOLOGY (AQA) AS Specification

Paper 1
90 minutes 72 marks 50% of AS Exam
Available in May/June

Introductory topics in Psychology

This exam deals with:

  • Social influence, including conformity, obedience and independent behaviour
  • Memory, including models of memory, forgetting and eyewitness testimony.
  • Attachment, including explanations for attachment and deprivation

Questions include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Paper 2
90 minutes 72 marks 50% of AS Exam
Available in May/June

Psychology in Context

This exam deals with:

  • Approaches in Psychology including the origins of Psychology and the learning, cognitive and biological approaches
  • Psychopathology, including definitions of abnormality, approaches and therapies.
  • Research methods

Questions include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Structure of the Course
This course will be taught for 5x 1 hour lessons per week. Homework will be set on a regular basis and investigations will be conducted as often as possible. Students will receive both class and revision notes but the reading of textbooks as an accompaniment is highly recommended.

Introductory Reading
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks, Picador, ISBN: 978-0330523622
Opening Skinners Box, Laurent Slater, W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN: 9780393326550
British Psychological Society's research digest,

Core Textbook
AQA Psychology for A-level Year 1 & AS, Flanagan et al. ISBN: 978-1-908682-40-6

Further Reading
Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, Penguin ISBN: 978-0141033570

Psychology AS