Challenge Your Mind


Psychology - A Level

Special Entry Requirements:

In addition to the A Level entry requirements you will need grade 5 in GCSE Maths and grade 5 in GCSE English Language

Course Introduction:

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour; including how people think and interact with others. You will study many aspects of behaviour including memory, obedience, mental illness, crime and clinical psychology. We offer EDEXCEL Psychology at S6F. You are not expected to have studied psychology before, just to have an interest in how the mind works and why people behave in the ways that they do.

Course Modules:

Social and Cognitive Psychology
You will learn social and cognitive approaches to psychology through learning about key studies, theories, and research methods within the topics. Social Psychology covers topics of obedience and prejudice. Cognitive Psychology covers the topics of memory. Within this module you are required to conduct two pieces of psychological research that relate to Social and Cognitive psychology.

Biological Psychology and Learning Theories
This unit is designed to introduce you to two approaches in psychology: the Biological Approach and the Learning Approach. The unit aims to develop understanding of how behaviour is learnt, how our biology affects the way we behave and issues of individuality in human behaviour. Within this module you are required to conduct two pieces of psychological research.

Applications of Psychology
The aim of this unit is to enable you to study how psychology can be applied to the real world. Each unit is related to a vocational context in which a psychology graduate may operate. The two units that you will study are Criminological Psychology (understanding why crime is committed, how to treat criminals and the reliability of eye witness testimonies) and Clinical Psychology (how different approaches in psychology can explain and treat mental illness). There is a focus on detailed understanding, application and evaluation of theories, as well as assessment.

Psychological Skills
This unit focuses on issues and debates within psychology (for example the nature nurture debate) and methods of conducting research. In this synoptic unit you will also be asked to draw upon other areas of the course to understand the issues and debates. You will develop an understanding of how to use theories and evidence and apply them to real life event.


To get an AS qualification in Psychology you must pass both examinations. Paper 1 (Social and Cognitive) and Paper 2 (Biological and Learning) are assessed in two exams in May.

To get an A level qualification in Psychology you are assessed in 3 exams. Paper One (Social, Cognitive, Biological and Learning), Paper Two (Applications of Psychology) and Paper Three (Psychological Skills). These three papers are examined in written assessments taken in June.

Career Opportunities:

Psychologists are probably best known for their work in health or education, but people with psychology qualifications can be found in almost any walk of life. A level Psychology can help you on the way to various career paths. To take a degree in Psychology at University it is advisable to do an AS Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics.)

Careers following a degree in Psychology – Most of these careers require a year or two of specialist training after the degree e.g. clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, forensic psychologist, health psychologist, occupational psychologist, speech therapist, psychotherapist, sports psychologist, teachers of special needs, and teachers of psychology.

Careers following other degrees – A/AS Psychology are accepted for university entrance to a wide variety of other degree courses, or straight into full-time employment. This can lead on to many different careers e.g. police, sales, personnel, administration, marketing, market research, nursing, journalism, management and accountancy training.