Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. Psychologists observe and conduct experiments to find out more about the way people act and interact. They try to understand what motivates, challenges or changes us and use this understanding to help us tackle personal and social problems.

What’s it about?

Why study Psychology?

Entry requirements

What you learn

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A Level Psychology is an ideal subject choice if you have an interest in understanding human behaviour from a scientific perspective. The subject investigates and explains human behaviour: from the formation of memories through to the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system, neurotransmitters and hormones. You will consider questions such as is nature or nurture more influential in developing our behaviour, why do people develop phobias, depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, how do children develop, how can we improve our memory, what caused people to follow the Nazi Regime despite the atrocities, what shapes offending behaviour and potential explanations and treatments of Schizophrenia. Studying psychology you’ll be able to hone your analytical and organisational skills and learn about scientific research methods, including collecting and working with data. Learning about human behaviour can also help to build your communication skills and improve your teamwork and leadership skills. Psychology is useful for any job that requires lots of interaction or an understanding of human behaviour and development.

The Course Structure

The first year contains the compulsory content, in which the students learn 8 topics.

Compulsory Content

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods
  • Issues and debates in Psychology

The second year contains some options units, where the students will study one from each option. The options are chosen by the school, so we all do the same.


Option 1

  • Relationships
  • Gender
  • Cognition and development

Option 2

  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating behaviour
  • Stress

Option 3

  • Aggression
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Addiction

The course is assessed in three exams. Each exam is a mixture of multiple choice questions, short answers and pieces of extended writing.  Each exam lasts 2 hours and is worth 33.3% of the total grade. There is no course work.

Paper One: Introductory Topics in psychology
Paper Two: Psychology in Context
Paper Three: Issues and Options in psychology

Please note – if you are opting to study Psychology and not opting to study A Level Mathematics then we recommend taking level 3 Core Maths as your 4th option (rather than EPQ or Directed Study).

Potential Careers

  • Academic research in areas such as Developmental, Forensic and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Business, management
  • Careers in medicine and healthcare
  • Clinical, Forensic, Educational, Health, Sports, Counselling Psychologist
  • Marketing
  • Psychologists can work in social care, mental health, education, business, research and sports.
  • Social work
  • Statistician
  • Teaching

 Why Study Psychology?

 Entry Requirements

Subject Qualification (Level 3) Required GCSE Grades
(in addition to Sixth Form entry requirements)
Additional Information
Psychology A Level 6+ English Language and 6+ Science  

What You Learn

Our Learning Journeys have been created to give you a flavour for the types of topics students study in each year at our school. They show what will be covered throughout the year and during each half-term, but please note there is some flexibility to what is taught when. We hope you find them helpful.