Due to the short amount of time left until the Summer 2018 exam session, we advise students to reconsider moving their exam intention to Summer 2019. If you do decide to go ahead with 2018 exams, the deadline for enrolling is 30th November and we strongly recommend adding our Fast Track service to your enrolment. After this final date you would need to wait until 2019 to sit your exams.
The study of psychology opens doors to careers in education, social work, counselling and the police, as well as psychology. This course covers a comprehensive approach to developmental psychology and research methods, biological psychology, social psychology and psychopathology.
This course is one of our new Gold Star A levels. Find out more about them here.
Duration of study
- Introduction to psychology and its origins
- Learning and cognitive approaches
- The biological approach and biopsychology
Section 2 - Memory
- Multi-store model of memory
- Working memory model
- Explanations for forgetting
- Eyewitness testimony
Section 3 - Social influence: conformity and obedience
- Resistance to social influence
- Minority influence and social change
Section 4 - Developmental psychology: attachment
- Development of attachment
- Explanations of attachment
- Types of attachment
- Maternal deprivation
Section 5 - Psychopathology
- Definitions of abnormality
- Characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder
- The behavioural approach to explaining phobias
- The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression
- The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD
Section 6 - Research methods
- Research methods
- Scientific processes
- Data analysis and presentation
Section 7 - Approaches and debates
- The psychodynamic approach
- The humanistic approach
- Further biopsychology
- Gender and culture in psychology
- Free will and determinism
- The nature–nuture debate
- Holism and reductionism
- Idiopathic and nomothetic approaches
- Ethical implications of research studies
- Comparing approaches
Section 8 - Schizophrenia
- Classifying schizophrenia
- Explanations for schizophrenia
- Therapies for schizophrenia
- The interactionist approach
Section 9 - Cognition and development
- Piaget's theory of cognitive development
- Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development
- Baillargeon and early infant abilities
- The development of social cognition
Section 10 - Aggression and further research methods
- Biopsychological explanations of aggression
- Ethological and evolutionary explanations of aggression
- Social explanations for human aggression
- Institutional aggression
- Media influences on aggression
- Psychology as a science
- Inferential testing
- Choosing a statistical test
Exams and assessment
- 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
- 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
- 2 hours, 33.3% of marks
Non-exam assessment (NEA):
This course has:
- 1 introductory assignment
- 10 assignments
Set texts and resources
- AQA A-level Psychology Book 1, Jean-Marc Lawton and Eleanor Willard, Hodder Education 2015
- AQA A-level Psychology Book 2, Jean-Marc Lawton and Eleanor Willard, Hodder Education 2015
- Windows 7 or later
- Mac OSX 10.7 or later
- Google Chrome OS
- Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
- iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser
- Google Chrome (latest version)
- Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
- Safari 6 or later
- Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)
learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.
How to enrol
- Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
- Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
- Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.
Paying in instalments
Amount of credit:
Duration of agreement:
Rate of interest:
0% APR representative.
The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.
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Thank you for your interest in this course.
Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.
What our students say...
"I chose the course to study by distance learning because our school could not get a teacher to teach psychology and I would therefore otherwise have been unable to study the subject. I would recommend any prospective students of any distance learning course to look into the amount of work there is going to be and whether the subject would fit into their lifestyle and other commitments."
— Laura Mason