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A level

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. This popular subject combines fascinating content with a scientific approach to investigation. We aim to develop both your theoretical understanding of the topics and an appreciation of their impact on people’s daily lives.

You will study a range of topics exploring the workings of human memory and child development, to the treatment of mental illnesses and rehabilitation of criminal behaviour. Throughout these topics you will apply scientific methods used in research and the important debates surrounding the application of psychology in society.

You will develop the ability to use a precise and succinct writing style and construct complex arguments. This will combine with a deeper understanding of scientific methods, mathematical applications and the broader implications of research through regular opportunities to design and carry out research, analyse data and report findings. 

Studying Psychology builds a very versatile skill-set including science, data analysis, problem-solving and complex discussion. It will open doors to a range of degrees and apprenticeships, making you well prepared for careers in Psychology and mental health, Police work, Law, Teaching, Human resources, Social work, Civil Services, Management and the world of business.

Course Content

We are all amateur psychologists in that we constantly try to understand the behaviour of people around us. The key difference in what psychologists do is they try to formulate their theories using scientific research and collaboration.

In seeking to understand human behaviour, psychologists look at a range of influences from early childhood experiences and socialisation to biological factors such as genes, hormones and brain structure.

These different viewpoints will have different implications and issues, which you will seek to understand as a student of psychology in addition to a range of fascinating topics and research methods.

Your studies will involve individual, pair and group work, applying and evaluating theory and research, as well as film and documentary clips to illustrate the content. 

Year 1

You will explore four key areas in psychology: social Influence, including conformity and obedience to authority, models of memory and how eye witness testimony goes wrong, the way children develop attachments to their parents and their impact on later life, and mental illnesses including issues with diagnosis and their treatment. You will study the various approaches to explaining behaviour, how psychology has developed as a science and explore a range of research methods connected to the topics.

Year 2

You will explore four more key topic areas: biopsychology, including the brain and nervous system and how sleep works, how schizophrenia is caused and treated, the development of gender identity and forensic psychology, which studies the causes of criminal behaviour and how successful rehabilitation is using different methods. You will also learn to use all the course material to discuss a number of debates within psychology, including the implications of the nature-nurture debate, research bias and the ethics of psychological research. You will further develop your understanding of scientific research techniques and statistical analysis of data, building on the foundation of year 1 through practical experience.


  • 100% Exam
  • Exam Board: AQA

Special Features

The department organises an annual trip to a conference on crime and criminal psychology and offers information on various national and local conferences and lectures for students to attend.

The course includes visiting speakers and optional trips to London and abroad, and an in-house Crime Conference with ex-prisoners talking about their offending and experience of prison.

Trips to Krakow and Auschwitz, and to London Zoo’s Phobia Clinic have been organised in recent years.


Entry Requirements

  • At least 7 GCSEs at Grade 4.
  • Grade 5 in GCSE English and GCSE Maths.
  • Grade 5 in GCSE Science.
  • Grade 5 in GCSE Psychology if taken.

Please note; you may be required to pay course costs towards your study on this course. Please click here for a full list of 2021/2022 course costs. 

After Long Road

The study of Psychology at this level can lead to a range of careers in Clinical, Educational, Forensic, Health or Occupational Psychology. Some of the degrees being taken by students who recently completed their studies are:

  • Psychology at York,
  • Psychology at Newcastle,
  • Psychology at Surrey,
  • Psychology at Lincoln,
  • Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Leicester.
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