A Level Psychology AQA Specification Changes 2020: Are You Up to Date?

A Level Psychology AQA Specification Changes 2020: Are You Up to Date?

One of our Psychology tutors in Kent, Karen Philpott, shares her knowledge of how the A Level Psychology paper will change in 2020.

As an A Level Psychology teacher/Tutor I thought I would just make sure others out there were aware that AQA have revised their 2015 spec with a few minor tweaks. BUT...they have also changed the content of one Paper three topic - Forensic Psychology, so we all need to make sure we are up-to-date with what to teach.


Things to Look Out For: Minor Wording Changes


Paper 1:  In the Social Influnence topic: The word ‘uniform’ has been moved to appear after reference to Milgram, to make it clearer as he did not explicitly study uniform as a situational variable.

Paper 2: In the Approaches section: i) has been placed before ‘the behaviourist approach…’ and ii) has been added before ‘social learning theory..’ to make it clearer that social learning theory is not part of the behaviourist approach.

Under 'Inferential testing' : ‘When to use the sign test; calculation of the sign test’ has been added to the bullet point 'Introduction to statistical testing; the sign test' for clarity.

Paper 3: In the Gender topic: ‘gender identity disorder’ has been replaced with ‘gender dysphoria’ to reflect changes made to the DSM.

In the Schizophrenia topic: Bullet point 'Biological explanations for schizophrenia' – reference to the dopamine hypothesis is now made immediately following neural correlates and now has the word ‘including’ added to acknowledge that the dopamine hypothesis is one example of a neural correlate.

For Forensic topic:The first bullet point in this section relating to problems in defining crime and ways of measuring crime has been removed so that the size of this topic is more comparable to other topics in this section of Paper 3.

I hope that is clear, but it is all available on the AQA website in the Subject Content section if you want clarification.

Happy teaching, Karen

Karen Philpott

Karen is an A Level Psychology tutor in West Malling, Kent. She has been a fully-qualified secondary school teacher in the UK for nine years and for the past six, has consistently been rated an ‘Outstanding lead subject teacher with an extensive subject knowledge and a passion for Psychology'. 

  • A Level psychology changes 2020
  • A Level psychology specification changes 2020
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