Psychology A-Level

The scientific study of human behaviour and the mind.

Why do we sometimes forget things the moment we walk out of a room? Can we make stress our friend rather then it being such a negative experience? And how do we explain why people develop things like phobias or OCD?

Psychology offers students an engaging and stimulating course to discover insights into the reasons behind human behaviour, helping them to gain not only a better understanding of their own behaviour but of those around them too. Psychology has a big impact on all areas of life, particularly in informing education and teaching, directing medical and health support services with issues like depression and phobias, shaping businesses and advertising, and engaging with efforts to reduce and reform criminal behaviour.

Psychologists help by applying scientific methods to obtain a better understanding of behaviour. This includes observing, measuring, testing and carrying out statistical analysis with individuals and groups to gain relevant information to support different situations. This enables psychologists to find solutions to problems in various settings.

Why Psychology?

  • A-level Psychology offers a science with cutting-edge research that has real-world implications for issues in everyday life, all within a course that has academic integrity and skills that Higher Education and employers value.
  • Studying Psychology develops a range of valuable skills including critical analysis, independent thinking and research, as well as a deeper understanding of the dynamics of human interaction and communication.
  • Psychology will give you a relevant qualification appropriate to a range of occupations including teaching, management, nursing, marketing, counselling and a number of professional fields such as clinical, forensic and educational psychology.
  • With the far-reaching implications of Psychology, it works very well with other A-level subjects such as Sociology, English, Biology, Law, and Religious Education to name a few, however, the skills learned on the course equip and support students in many other subjects too.

Any special requirements?

No prior knowledge of the subject is necessary. A minimum of a grade 6 in English is necessary for the heavy essay demands of the subject. Furthermore, students should be very clear about the statistical component of the course, in regards to Research Methods and data analysis.

What will I study?

In the first year of study, the course includes areas such as:

  • The scientific study of mental disorders and types of abnormality including phobias, OCD and depression
  • How memory works including explanations for forgetting and factors that affect eyewitness testimony
  • Practical understanding of the research methods psychologists used to investigate human behaviour

In the second year of study, the course includes areas such as:

  • Insight into forensic psychology including explanations for offending and how offender profiles are used to narrow down searches for criminals
  • Why we get stressed and ways of managing stress
  • Issues and Debates in psychology such as understanding the role of free will and determinism in behaviour, and the role of nature and nurture, as well as discussions on cultural issues

How will I be assessed?

At the end of the A-level course, you will sit three papers, each lasting 120 minutes that are a combination of short questions and essays

Further information

If you would like further information about this subject please click here to view the course leaflet.

Purpose and Provision

Download a copy of the Psychology Departments Purpose and Provision document here.