Why choose Psychology?

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 a 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 a student-run Psychology Society which organises lunchtime talks by visiting speakers and shows videos of programmes of psychological interest. You will have the opportunity to take part in university research and to attend conferences consisting of lectures by academic and practising psychologists.

A level Psychology is a very useful (although not essential) basis for degree level study in the subject. Many of our students go on to study psychology at university. Psychology is a well-respected degree for a range of occupations which require graduate status, and also opens up opportunities to train as a chartered psychologist, for example as a clinical, criminological or counselling psychologist. For a psychology degree some universities, especially the more competitive ones, prefer students who have studied two ‘science’ subjects, in this case meaning psychology, mathematics, biology, physics or chemistry. However, many universities do not operate this policy, and for these institutions a broader spectrum of subjects is acceptable.

All units are assessed by examinations consisting of structured and/or essay questions.

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade B in Maths or Biology or Chemistry or Physics or in both Science and Additional Science, and GCSE grade B in English Language or Literature.

Awarding Body

AQA (Specification A)

Units of Study

AS Level

Psychology - Paper 1

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology
Social influence, memory, attachment.

Psychology - Paper 2

Paper 2: Psychology in context
Approaches in psychology, psychopathology, research methods

A2 Level

Psychology - Paper 3

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology
Issues and debates in psychology, relationships, schizophrenia, forensic psychology

Psychology - Paper 1

Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology
Social influence, memory, attachment, psychopathology

Psychology - Paper 2

Paper 2: Psychology in context
Approaches in psychology, biopsychology, research methods