Psychology has the study of mind and behaviour at its core.

If you have ever wondered about human or animal behaviour, why people do what they do or how the mind works, Psychology at A-level is a subject that is well worth considering.

What will I learn?

The course provides the opportunity to explore a wide range of fascinating topics including prejudice, criminal behaviour, obedience, media influence, aggression and mental illness.

Discover why ‘HM’ lost his memory, why people gave severe electric shocks to a stranger and why innocent people are sometimes convicted. In Psychology these questions and many more are considered.

It is the interesting diversity of studying living beings and their interactions, along with how the course complements other subjects that gives Psychology its’ wide appeal.

Course Overview

Psychology: the Science of Mind and Behaviour
Foundations in Psychology:

  • Obedience, prejudice, memory, what shapes behaviour, phobias, drugs, brain damage and aggression.
  • Issue discussions include: genocide, anorexia, hooliganism, chemical military enhancement, brain injury in sport, and media influence.

Applications of Psychology:

  • Criminological Psychology: criminal behaviour explanations, eyewitness testimony, offender treatments and jury decision-making.
  • Clinical Psychology: diagnosis, psychological disorders e.g. schizophrenia and treatments
  • Issue discussions include: are criminals born or made? Is rehabilitation is effective?

Psychological Skills:

  • Psychological research and the issues that arise.
  • Issues and Debates: e.g. social control, nature-nurture, culture, science debate and ethics.

Prior Psychology study is not a prerequisite. Good grades in Maths, English and Science (GCSE or equivalent) are beneficial.

Why study Psychology?

Interest: students report that Psychology is their most interesting subject. Psychology is different, intriguing and it may be a subject that you have never studied before.

Exam success: each year students achieve excellent results and progression to top universities. There are always many success stories!

Subject Compatibility: Psychology can be studied with any combination of subjects. The captivating course content has links across the spectrum of subjects providing enriching compatibility.

Skills for university and employment: Universities and employers value the skills that Psychology students can offer (including critical analysis, formulating discussions, interpersonal awareness, and problem solving). Practical research skills are also developed. One of the enjoyable aspects of the course is designing studies, collecting participant data and assessing the outcomes.

Valuable knowledge: Psychology students can apply their knowledge to a range of degree courses and careers including: Law, Medicine, Education, Politics, Sport and Business. Some become professional psychologists, such as Clinical Psychologists, Neuropsychologists or Forensic Psychologists.

The Psychology course provides many opportunities for discussion, consideration and analysis. You will also gain an insight into many of the applications of Psychology in society, for example: the use of psychology in advertising, the training of service animals (Learning Theories), the explanations for sport-related hooliganism and ways to reduce prejudice (Social Psychology).

Why study Psychology?

  • 3 papers (2 hours each) in year 2
  • Short answer and extended questions

To practice exam skills, the course involves:

  • A key question essay and investigation report per topic.
  • Exam practice through questions and trial papers.

Psychology Lessons, Enrichment and Extension

The course involves a wide range of activities to encapsulate the diversity of the content. From discussions and debates, psychology experiments and demonstrations, study re-enactments and participating in a mock jury to work experience and enrichment visits. There is lots on offer!

As firm believers in lifting the content off the page, there are a wealth of opportunities to explore the subject beyond the classroom. Participate in PhD research, become a subject mentor, conduct work experience at Oxford University, attend advanced seminars or enter national competitions. Our visits have included trips to Erlestoke Prison, the Literature and Science festivals, Warwick University, Milestone School and the Autism Research Centre. Visiting speakers share their experiences for example of jury duty, apartheid and working in psychological fields. The Psychology Enrichment and Extension Programme elevates students’ learning and enhances their university application.

Tracey Williams Head of Psychology