Psychology

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the brain, mind and behaviour, but it cannot be studied by opening a skull and looking at the grey matter inside! That would tell us very little about thinking and emotions. Instead, Psychologists study humans and animals to try to work out why people think, feel and behave the way that they do.

Questions such as ‘why is it that people suffer from stress and mental illness?’ and ‘are there any downsides to putting children into child care before the age of two?’ are just some of the things that Psychology investigates.

Psychology is a scientific discipline with cutting edge research. It has real-world applications to issues in everyday life, ranging from areas such as artificial intelligence to social change. The mix of these disciplines is what makes it such a fascinating subject, and one which can be applied to so many careers.

What will I study?

Paper 1

  • Memory
  • Social influence
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Paper 2

  • Research Methods
  • Approaches
  • Biopsychology

Paper 3

  • Issues and Debates
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression
  • Relationships


How will I study?

You will be encouraged to attend lessons with a combination of curiosity and scepticism. You will analyse psychological theories using a range of sources and weigh up strengths and weaknesses of the approaches used, developing your critical reasoning skills by actively participating in discussions with others. You will also undertake your own independent research projects and gain an insight into ethically conducting research and interpreting and analysing data.

How will my work be assessed?

A-Level Psychology is entirely exams based. You will take three 2-hour exams consisting of the topics detailed above. All of the exams contain multiple choice, short-answer and extended writing questions (essays worth up to 16 marks). Each exam is worth 33.3% of your total A Level Psychology mark. 25% of the marks across all of the exams will assess knowledge of Research Methods including the assessment of mathematical skills.

Entry requirements: to study Psychology at A-Level, you need to have achieved a grade 6 in Science and English at GCSE, and grade 5 in Maths at GCSE. There is no requirement to have studied Psychology at GCSE.