AS Level Psychology

The Student's Textbook

By: Nigel Holt , Rob Lewis


Size: 264mm x 196mm

Pages : 256

ISBN : 9781845900939

Format: Paperback

Published: March 2008

Also available as an eBook Site Licence
ISBN 9781845905910

AS Level Psychology: The Student's Textbook, written for the (2008) AQA Psychology syllabus, covers the whole specification in colour-coded, clear and concise chapters.

Designed to facilitate a smooth transition between the current and new specifications, this definitive textbook allows many existing lesson plans and resources to be worked into the new syllabus. Each chapter is well illustrated with photos and diagrams and contains key studies and vignettes to engage the student. The innovative 'Ask an Examiner' sections provide additional student-friendly hints and tips vital to exam success.

Shortlisted for the 2009 Education Resources Awards in the Best Secondary Resource or Equipment – non-ICT category


Picture for author Nigel Holt

Nigel Holt

Nigel Holt is Head of Psychology at Aberystwyth University. He has taught psychology at GCSE and A level and worked for many years as a senior examiner for AQA. In addition to his ongoing research as a cognitive psychologist, Nigel is an established textbook author and editor of a large number of books for undergraduate students.

Picture for author Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis is a Senior Lecturer in the Cardiff School of Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He has considerable experience and success teaching A level psychology, and for many years was a senior examiner for AQA. In addition to teaching and examining, Rob has been actively involved in A Level specification development and delivering INSET and CPD training for teachers.


  1. This is an excellent textbook. It is accessible to all levels of Advanced Psychology students. I would highly recommend this textbook for anybody starting teaching psychology for the first time or those experienced teachers who need some fresh and innovative ideas. I have highly recommended this text for all the psychology PGCE students at Manchester Metropolitan university , as I believe it is an invaluable tool.
  2. This book is exactly what it claims to be: a student's handbook which should also have a wide appeal to overworked, hard pressed teaching staff. It covers the new specification fully and includes both well established Key Studies, such as Holmes and Rahe and the Stanford Prison study (how we love them !) and also includes a good deal of pertinent recent research material, up to and including 2007. The amount of good new material is unusual in an AS text and the authors should be commended for taking their readers (staff and students) seriously and not just trotting out the usual suspects.

    As an experienced teacher I would recommend it as the class text because it is so thorough and consistently draws the student back to the examination requirements without becoming boring. I loved the "Ask the Examiner" sections!

    The book is user friendly, using a range of eye catching strategies without being patronising as the content is academically sound and clearly explained. The section on research Methods, placed correctly as the first section, rather than hidden at the end, is one of the most accessible I have come across. It takes the trouble to explain the how and why of psychological research, rather than presenting a set of technical instructions about how to do research and therefore the manner in which it is presented should prevent the student from switching off after 2 or 3 paragraphs.

    The whole text is clearly laid out, with a good and varied range of stimulus material to keep the students attention. I also found the topic colour coding useful, "Section two/yellow pages" should save a good deal of time.

    This clearly written text has the virtues of being both accessible to less able students and also presents stimulating material to encourage the more able to further study, with sensible and accessible texts listed at the end of each chapter.

    With the scarcity of both time and resources this text will allow teachers to use existing resources and build upon them with the new material.
  3. Very "student user friendly". Nice cartoons, and good pictures. Students like pictures! Information - written in an easy style " correctly written without the loftiness of academic writing. The layout of the book is easy "on the eye". The colour coding of the pages is useful for quick access to information.

    The Key Studies, or here called "Studies in Focus are easily understood and are jargon free so students an access content without too much trouble. Where possible, recent research studies have been added. It is difficult to be original as many of the studies have been on the specifications for years. Things are kept simple, like terminology etc. and thus helps the student to make the transition from GCSE to A level work without it being a daunting experience. From experience I have found that students "give up" before they have started because, as they say "it is too difficult!"

    A refreshingly welcome approach to the new AS exam which should stimulate and enthuse both student and teacher. The "Ask the Examiner" tips are really useful to students and they have the confidence that the advice given is from current practising examiners " I should know " I have worked with both of them! And they know their stuff! Students often let themselves down " not due to lack of knowledge, but how to answer the question to maximise their grades. Many textbooks omit this.

    As a teacher of many years, I thought it was going to be yet another textbook, but I personally enjoyed it and found it quite refreshing to read, even though it is covering material I already know.

    Although the authors have not included a section on "How Science works", it does not detract from the usefulness of the book. This section is best kept out as such information is not really necessary in a student textbook. That sort of information is more for teachers.

    I certainly will recommend this book to colleagues and my students.

    I wish you all luck and success with this book. It is good to see practising teachers and examiners in this field.
  4. This is overall a well presented, student friendly psychology text. It offers a fresh and refreshing insight into AS Psychology. Along with familiar favourites I enjoyed reading the many new studies not usually featured in AS Psychology textbooks. I particularly liked the `Take a Closer Look` feature of the `Study in Focus` section as this encourages the skills needed for effective evaluation. All psychology departments should have access to this book, whether they use `AQA` `A` or not.
  5. Student friendly - nice layout, not too big and cumbersome and not too much writing on each page - students these days would be put off with too much text. Photos and cartoons appeal to visual learners. I like the format - the different parts (ask an examiner and boxes with supplementary text etc.).

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