A Level | Psychology

Key Stage 5 Co-Ordinator: 

Miss K Steers


A Level:

Level 3 courses


Entry requirements: Grade 5 or above in GCSE English and GCSE Maths and a GCSE Science

Short introduction to what KS5 psychology has to offer.

Psychology will give you an insight into how the mind works and explain behaviour of individuals. You will explore biological and social factors that affect us, by examining psychological theories, and experiments which test these theories. GCSE English Grade 6 GCSE Maths Grade 7 GCSE Science Grade B. The A-level examinations require short mark answers as well as essay-writing skills.

Psychology A Level is a course that is essential for students who want to study psychology at university, and the skills developed will also be relevant to a wide choice of careers such as Forensics, Law, and Counselling. Assessment is carried out through AQA and is focused on a range of topics such as Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology. Students will also study and evaluate in great depth Gender, Schizophrenia and Forensic Psychology. Psychology gives students an insight into how the mind works and explains the behaviour of individuals.

It involves analysis of various theories of behaviour and the consideration of research studies which evaluate these theories. Students will be encouraged to think critically when analysing why people behave in the way that they do. An example being why do some people obey orders and others do not? Why do some people develop Schizophrenia? Which treatment for OCD is most successful? Biological and social factors that affect us will also be explored, by examining psychological theories, and experiments which test these theories. A range of Psychological approaches will be explored in addition to ‘Research methods’. How psychologists conduct their research, and why psychology is considered to be a science will also be investigated. Finally, students will study the way in which psychologists carry out statistical tests on the data that they gather when carrying out a psychological experiment.


To study A Level Psychology, you will be required to achieve a grade 5 or above in GCSE English Grade 5 GCSE Maths Grade 5 GCSE Science Grade 5. The A-Level will be assessed in three examinations, each lasting two hours. These papers will assess both short answer and extended answer questions.

AS level

At AS Level, you will dive into the world of Psychology by looking at the origins and approaches subject and how it has paved the way for innovative and ground-breaking understanding of the human mind. You will also be learning about Psychopathology and understand the deeper roots of various mental health issues which apply more so than ever in today’s time. Questioning the role of social influence and evaluating how far are people willing to go under the guise of being given orders. How effective is our memory and what role does it play in eye-witness testimonies? How important is attachment and what are the ramifications if successful relationships or attachments aren’t formed at an early stage of childhood? Lastly, you will indulge yourself in the role of research and what methods Psychologists use when conducting research and studies. 

A Level

In the second year of Psychology, you will be further reinforcing your knowledge on research methods and how best to carry out research. In addition, you will be delving into the minds of famous criminals and understanding their ‘mens rea’ and ‘actus reus’. Questioning why criminals commit the crimes they do and if there is a genuine way to prevent or deter crime. Biopsychology is another key area of focus in A Level, and it entails the deeper understanding of the human body. Touching upon areas such as the two different brain hemispheres, your natural body clock and so much more. A strong foundation of knowledge regarding Psychological approaches is needed as you will be learning about the different causes, explanations and treatments of Schizophrenia. What role does gender play in our identity? One of the last topics you will learn about will uncover the reality of sex and gender and how what society thought was rigid and fix, is in fact not as determined as we once thought. The last topic you will be learning about are the issues and debates of Psychology. How ethical are Psychological studies and do they do more harm than good? These are some of the debates you will be taking part in when evaluating how beneficial or how much has Psychology contributed to understanding human behaviour.