A Level Psychology

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics
Science and Mathematics
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What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Psychology A Level
Code PS
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


A fascinating subject with a rigorous and scientific approach.

Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and experience. This stimulating subject combines fascinating content with a rigorous and scientific approach to investigation. It has recently undergone huge growth in popularity, both as a choice for A level and undergraduate students.

The course aims to develop both an academic understanding of the subject and an appreciation of its impact on people’s daily lives. Psychology A level develops your ability to formulate an argument by presenting and critically evaluating research evidence. Accurate and concise writing is important in answering short structured questions and longer essay-style questions. There is no coursework, but an important element of the course is practical: designing and carrying out research, reporting findings and analysing data. This provides good opportunities to develop IT and number skills.

Lunchtime workshops and a peer-mentoring scheme provide further opportunities to further your understanding. There is also a student-run Psychology Society which organises lunchtime talks by visiting speakers and shows videos of programmes of psychological interest.

“There are so many interesting topics that you’ll be able to relate to – Psychology can give you a new perspective on life.” JENNY, Psychology student.







  • Social influence: conformity to the majority, obeying evil authority figures, resisting these influences, explaining social change.
  • Memory: models of memory and forgetting, eye witness testimony, police interviews.  
  • Attachment between babies and caregivers: attachment problems and lifelong effects.  
  • Psychopathology: biological, behavioural and cognitive explanations and treatments of OCD, phobias and depression.
  • Approaches: the ‘big ideas’ which explain behaviour from different perspectives: biological, behavioural, cognitive, psychodynamic and humanistic. 
  • Research methods: experiments, observations, sampling, design, presenting and analysing data, ethical issues, psychology as a science.  
  • Biopsychology: functions of different brain regions, recovery after brain damage, brain scans, bodily rhythms, the sleep / wake cycle.  
  • Issues and debates: gender & culture bias, nature v nurture, free will v determinism, ethical implications of socially sensitive research.  
  • Relationships: why they last and what happens when they don’t, evolved partner preferences, virtual relationships and ‘relationships’ with media personalities.  
  • Schizophrenia: symptoms, diagnosis problems, genes, brain chemistry, faulty thinking, dysfunctional families, therapies – drugs, family and CBT.  
  • Forensic: offender profiling, measuring, explaining and dealing with crime. 

How will it be delivered?

There are three written exams taken at the end of Year 13, consisting of structured and essay-style questions. Each lasts 2 hours.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 6 in English (Language or Literature) AND Maths or a Science

Minimum Entry Admissions Score applies

Your next steps...

Psychology A Level is a very useful basis for a Psychology degree. This is a well-respected degree for many occupations which require graduate status, and also opens up opportunities to work for example as a clinical, sports or forensic psychologist.