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Head of Department: Mrs E Cherry

Teacher: Ms L Stares


What is Psychology? 

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour, and psychologists focus on understanding and explaining all kinds of human behaviour. Studying Psychology allows students to consider the mind as something intangible that exists within our brain; an unseen process of enzymes, chemicals and electric currents. This course allows the consideration of a range of issues including why most people conform, how our early experiences shape us as a person and why some people suffer from stress or mental illness. 

Students will learn a number of skills including analytical thinking, problem solving, critical reasoning, planning and conducting scientific investigations. Students should be prepared for the significant scientific and mathematical content alongside the need to develop extended written skills. 

Psychology is a fascinating social science with innovative research that has real-world applications that students are bound to find interesting. [updated November 2019]


'People who have a sense of self-efficacy bounce back from failure; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong.' Albert Bandura


A level: Years 12 and 13

Entry requirement: English, Maths and a Science subject GCSE grade 6 

Course content 

  • Social influence Why do people conform?
  • Memory  How are memories stored? 
  • Attachment How do we form attachments in early childhood?
  • Psychopathology  What counts as abnormality? 
  • Approaches in Psychology What are the different psychological approaches?
  • Biopsychology  What is the function of the nervous system? 
  • Research Methods  Which research methods do psychologists from different approaches use? How do ethics influence research? 
  • Issues & Debates in Psychology  What is the nature/nurture debate and what do psychologists think? How have gender bias and cultural bias affected Psychology? 
  • Students will also study three option topics: 
  1.  One from Relationships, Gender, Cognition & Development. 
  2.  One from Schizophrenia, Eating Behaviour, Stress. 
  3.  One from Aggression, Forensic Psychology, Addiction. 


Students sit three 2-hour exam papers at the end of the course, each worth 33.3% of their grade. 

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology – Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology

Paper 2: Psychology in Context – Approaches to Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods

Paper 3: Issues & Options in Psychology – Issues & Debates, and 3 option topics


Exam Board: AQA

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Careers Education

Psychology and related areas of study are an incredibly popular choice at university. It can provide students with a host of exciting career options including clinical psychology, marketing, occupational therapy, teaching, business development, forensic psychology, nursing and human resources.