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Applied Psychology Level 3 Diploma

Level 3 Applied Diploma

We are all amateur psychologists in that we attempt to explain the behaviour of people around us. However, professional psychologists take a more rigorous approach to understanding human behaviour and develop and test theories on why people behave the way that they do.  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.

Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of mind and behaviour. During the course you will have the opportunity to engage in this scientific process through practical’s that require you to collect and analyse data using the skills and knowledge that you acquired during GCSE Maths and Science.  Psychologists use a range of methods to investigate human behaviour and the strengths and limitations of these methods is an integral theme that runs throughout the course.

This is an Extended Certificate equivalent to one A level and can be taken in combination with either other applied 60 credit courses or A levels.

Please note; may be required to pay course costs towards your study on this course. Click here for a full list of Course Costs


Course content

Year 1

Approaches and Applications

Learners will explore four key approaches in psychology – Social, Cognitive, Learning and Biological – and apply these approaches to issues relevant to contemporary society. Learning the key assumptions as well as supporting studies from each area. This unit will introduce some basic ideas from different approaches in psychology to develop an understanding of how psychological research and concepts can explain gender identity, aggression and consumer behaviour. It will also investigate the various ways in which psychologists explain human interactions and you will gain a clear insight into how and why some behaviour occurs.        

Conducting Psychological Research

 Learners will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the scientific process and in psychological research methodology through their own psychological research project. Learners will need to understand the different research methods available in psychology and the importance in psychological inquiry. They will plan research to investigate a psychological question, as well as carrying out a pilot study to check their research is fit for purpose.  They will look to explore current issues in Psychology and will learn about the whole research process from background research to writing a hypothesis. They will also learn to understand the best way to handle data in its various forms as well as reviewing the implications of their research.
For this unit learners will need to produce a written report in the form of coursework.

Health Psychology

 This unit looks at lifestyle choice and health-related behaviour and ill health, stress and addiction. It covers theories of stress, behavioural and physiological addiction. The unit looks at theories and methods to promote positive behavioural changes, treatments and management methods as well as a range of research used to explain behaviours such as gambling and compulsive shopping.


Year 2 Options

Criminal and Forensic Psychology

Learners explore the different theories used to explain criminal behaviour and the application of criminal and forensic psychology in the criminal justice system. Learners will look at different psychological approaches to explaining criminal behaviour, investigate punishment strategies and behaviour modification of criminal behaviour and apply different methods to create an offender profile.

Promoting Children’s Psychological Development

Learners study theories of childhood, factors affecting the healthy development of children and the role of professionals in promoting psychological health, as well as understanding perspectives of childhood and theories of child development. It will also examine factors affecting a child’s healthy development and the role of professionals involved in supporting children, parents and carers Students will study theories of psychological development to explain and inform prevention of later dysfunctional psychopathy.

 Introduction to Psychopathology

Learners develop knowledge of psychopathology, types and characteristics of mental disorders and approaches to treatment as well as the role of professionals in supporting and promoting mental health. Learners will also  examine the causes, types and characteristics of mental disorder and professional approaches to the treatments of such mental disorders.

Applied Sport Psychology

Learners explore key theories in sport psychology, their application to sporting environments and the interventions that can be implemented to influence sporting performance positively. Learners will understand key psychological theories underpinning performance in sport. They will also investigate how psychological theories can be applied to sporting situations, as well as recommending psychological interventions to meet sports performance needs.



You will be assessed by a combination of internally-assessed assignments and externally-set and marked assessments.


Is it for me?

You will enjoy and benefit from Applied Psychology if you:

  • are interested in the way humans think, feel and interact with each other
  • wish to carry out research and understand the research process.
  • would like to work in this area or in careers involving working with people in the future
  • have the ability to analyse theoretical concepts and to examine scientific issues logically and systematically
  • are keen to carry out independent investigative research, including extensive reading and the Internet
  • can express yourself well, both in discussion and on paper.


How does it differ to A level?

Both courses try to explain human behaviour and cover similar content but their method of assessment is different. The National Extended Certificate allows students to complete modules and then sit assessments as they go, rather than doing 100% examined assessment at the end of 2 years. This course would suit a student who prefers continuous assessment rather than linear exams.


Entry requirements

At least  5 Grade 4s including Maths and English.

Examination board: Edexcel


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