Psychology comes from the Greek psyche (mind, soul or spirit) and logos (knowledge or study).  Therefore Psychology means literally the ‘study of the mind’.  In studying Psychology you will look at why we feel, think and behave the way we do.  It is a science with cutting edge research that has real world applications to issues in everyday life.  The course aims to enable students to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of core areas of psychology (social, cognitive, developmental, biopsychology, psychopathology and psychology issues, debates and approaches). 

The study of Psychology at A Level encourages the development of skills in comprehension, interpretation and analysis, as well as the construction of balanced, logical and coherent argument.  

The combination of scientific understanding, essay writing and analysis means that Psychology will complement most subjects. Subjects that complement Psychology very well are any Sciences, particularly Biology, and essay based subjects such as History.  It is important to note that to study Psychology as a degree many universities now require at least one Science at A Level.

Specification for Year 12

Topics to be studied - Social Influences, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology, Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research methods.

Specification for Year 13

Topics to be studied - Issues and debates in Psychology

Three topics will be selected from a number of options including; relationships, gender, cognition and development, schizophrenia, eating behaviour, stress, forensic psychology, addiction and aggression.

How is it Assessed?

Paper 1: written exam: 2 hours, 96 marks in total and 33.3% of A-level

Paper 2: written exam: 2 hours, 96 marks in total and 33.3% of A-level

Paper 3: written exam: 2 hours, 96 marks in total and 33.3% of A-level

The course is assessed through a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. There is no coursework.

Specific entry requirements:

It is recommended that students have obtained a 6 English Language and Maths.

Why is it a useful qualification?

Psychology provides an excellent preparation for higher education as it develops the skills necessary for success at this level. There are many careers in the field of Psychology, such as Clinical, Educational, Criminal and Occupational Psychology. Because Psychology gives us an insight into human behaviour and development, it is very useful in occupations which involve people, such as education, health, social work, media and management.