Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind, its functions and how it affects behaviour. On the course you will learn about how Psychology has developed as a science and how researchers study human behaviour. We know that you will not have studied the subject before but having an interest in people and their behaviour will be a big advantage on the course.


Year 12 Course content

Term 1

The focus of this term is to look at the main approaches in psychology and develop an understanding of how to conduct research.

  • Each approach in psychology has its own way of explaining human behaviour and we will examine the similarities and differences between them.
  • You will then use the theories from the approaches to study psychopathology, focussing on topics such as phobias, OCD and depression.
  • The approaches use a range of research methods to study human behaviour; these include experiments, correlations, interviews, questionnaires and case studies. You will learn about the different methods and carry out some research with participants yourself.


Term 2 

The focus of this term is to look at the way in which psychological theories are used to explain behaviour in real life.

  • The course covers the topic of Social Influence; you will understand what causes people to obey to those in authority as well as factors influencing social change such as women’s right to vote.
  • In the topic of Attachment you will learn more about why we form attachments, different types of attachment and how early childhood experiences can have a profound effect on the behaviour of children and teenagers.
  • During the third topic of Memory and Forgetting you will learn more about why some revision methods are effective, why we forget and factors that influence the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.


Year 13 Course content

  • We look at the application of psychological theories to help us understand and treat conditions such as schizophrenia and addiction.
  • You will also study the topic of gender where you will learn about the difference between sex and gender, atypical sex chromosomes and gender identity disorders.
  • We also look at the major debates in psychology, for example the relative importance of nature and nurture in behaviour and whether we are free to choose our behaviour.


Students are taught by two teachers, this allows students to learn about two different topics simultaneously. We aim to use a range of teaching and learning activities in lessons; the most common activities include:

  • Watching footage of key psychological studies
  • Taking part in practical research to replicate studies they are learning about
  • Engaging in role plays to develop a greater understanding of treatments
  • using textbooks and handouts to make notes on key studies and theories
  • Applying what has been learn to real-life behaviour
  • Reviewing key content through interactive starters such as Kahoot
  • Working independently out of lessons researching topics to feed back to the group in discussions.



Psychology compliments a lot of other A-level subjects:

  • English literature and English Language due to the development in essay writing skills.
  • Maths and Geography due to the detailed understanding of research methods and statistical analysis.
  • Biology, Physics and Chemistry due to the detailed knowledge of the scientific approach to research and the analysis of data.

Students can choose to study Psychology in higher education where they will have an opportunity to learn about human behaviour in greater detail.


Specification = AQA A level Psychology

At the end of the A level course there will be three exams, each will consist of multiple choice, short answers and extended writing tasks. There is no coursework for this subject.


Head of Department: Mrs T Lancaster
Miss E Walker
Miss E White
Sept 2018