A Level Course Listing


Psychology offers you the opportunity to diversify from the traditional mainstream subjects. Psychology is a science using scientific methods and principles and it is classed as such for university applications. However, it can be seen as more tangible and directly related to people and their observable and everyday behaviour than the traditional natural sciences.

So whilst psychology has its roots firmly in the discipline of science, it incorporates many skills from other areas too. You will learn to evaluate and analyse information and evidence and to draw conclusions from the research and work of others. You need to be able to structure an answer and formulate an argument in essay type format.

First year

The first year of the course provides a foundation in what is a broad and continuously expanding subject. It covers some of the development of psychology as a discipline and some key topic areas such as memory, psychopathology and social influence.

Second year

The second year of the course takes this foundation further extending the areas and studying them in more depth. In addition to this the second year includes topics such as gender, forensic psychology, eating behaviour and some of the issues and debates that are key to psychology.


Assessment is in the form of written examination modules. Psychology A Level has three equally weighted examinations. These contain a combination of multiple choice, short answer questions and extended writing.

There is focus throughout both years on the methods used in psychology. Practical research studies will be designed, carried out and analysed by you. In this way you will develop an understanding of the research methods and issues in psychology. You will be required to draw on this experience for some examination questions.


The Psychology Department makes good use of online materials and DVDs (including some original footage of key experiments). Throughout the course many research studies are reproduced in terms of class versions of experiments – enabling you to experience and understand them from a personal viewpoint.

Students aiming to study psychology must be ready to learn extensive new terminology and be keen to read around the subject – this can be in the form of books, magazines, newspapers and numerous television programmes. An understanding of maths is required in terms of interpreting data generated in experiments, as well as a good grounding in biology.

Where can it lead?

As a career choice, psychology is far from limited. Following a Psychology degree, you can pursue careers in Educational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Sport Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Counselling, and Academic/Research Psychology – to name a selection.

However students with psychology at A Level will find it applies to many other careers not directly based in psychology. These include Media and Advertising, Marketing and Sales, Medicine, Teaching, Business, Law and People Management.

Course Outline

Examination Board: AQA 7182

Entry Requirements

At least a grade 6 at GCSE (psychology, if studied), or at least a grade 6 in biology and maths.


A Level Psychology comprises three examination modules. Each examination paper includes a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

Paper 1:

Introductory topics in psychology

Content :

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Assessment Written exam: Two hours. 96 marks, 33.3% of A Level.

Paper 2:

Psychology in context


  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods

Assessment Written exam: Two hours. 96 marks, 33.3% of A Level.

Paper 3:

Issues and options in psychology


  • Issues and debates in psychology
  • Gender
  • Eating behaviour
  • Forensic psychology

Assessment Written exam: Two hours. 96 marks, 33.3% of A Level.