Teaching Staff

Ms L Mawhinney

Teaching and Learning Aims

The vision of the Psychology Department is that all students studying the subject at AGS will:

  • – Be inspired and active in the classroom
  • – Be able to understand and use Peer Reviewed articles effectively
  • – To develop critical thinking regarding published works
  • – Develop their independent learning and to actively question theories in Psychology
  • – Attain examination results that enable them to further their tertiary studies at the institution of their choice
  • – Have a clear understanding of the career opportunities in Psychology
  • – Develop links with Queen’s University Psychology department


AS LEVEL PSYCHOLOGY (for examination in 2017 and beyond)



Mode of Assessment



·         Introductory Topics including Research Methods used in Psychology.

2 external examination papers at the end of Year 13.


Each paper lasting 90 minutes.

Each paper will be worth 50% of the AS mark.


This will be a qualification in itself.


Social Influence

·         Conformity

·         Minority Influence

·         Social Change



·         Types of memory

·         Eye-witness testimony

·         Forgetting

·         Use of Cognitive Interview



·         Caregiver-infant interactions in humans

·         Animal studies

·         Bowlby’s theory

·         Influence in adult relationships


Approaches in psychology

·         Learning approach

·         Cognitive approach

·         Biological approach



·         Central Nervous System

·         Neurons

·         Endocrine system

·         Fight or flight response



·         Definitions of abnormality

·         Phobias

·         OCD

·         Depression





Research Methods

·         Experimental Method

·         Observational techniques

·         Self-report techniques

·         Correlations

·         Scientific processes

·         Data handling

·         Statistical testing



Extra Curricular/Extended Learning Opportunities

The Psychology Department endeavours to give students opportunities to engage with individuals working in the subject. The following are examples of AS students’ experiences:  

  • In April 2016 the AS class took part in an annual sixth form conference – held at Queen’s University Belfast – Psychology Department
  • The conference was led by Dr Chris Gibbons – head of Psychology at QUB and students were given the opportunity to talk in person with him
  • Also in attendance was Mrs Julia Willerton – former Chief Examiner of A Level for AQA – again students were given the opportunity to engage and question her after the conference
  • In May 2016 – a trained Counsellor visited the class giving pupils the benefit of her expertise – relevant to several topics in the AS examinations

Career Opportunities

The Psychology department has established close links with the Psychology Department at Queen’s University and Dr C Gibbons (Head of department) – he is always available for consultation throughout the year for those interested in a Degree in Psychology.

A ‘Level Psychology investigates topics and issues relevant to the students’ personal, social and intellectual development. It encourages the student to develop their independent learning skills, question research and learn the scientific processes involved in Psychological Research, statistics and interpreting data.

A course in Psychology provides knowledge and develops skills that are useful and necessary in almost every career in both the Private and Public sectors. Those who don’t go on to study psychology at postgraduate level have many options, including the educational sector, mental health support, social work, therapy, counselling and many more.