A-Level Psychology

Will I enjoy A-Level Psychology?

  • Why do I think like this? 
  • Why do I behave like this? 
  • Why do I feel like this? 

If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions, then you will be interested in psychology, the scientific discipline that investigates human behaviour and experience. 

What will I be learning? 

The main emphasis of the A-Level course is on learning what psychologists have found out about human behaviour in their research and how they have interpreted their findings. You will also learn how to conduct and evaluate psychological research and consider how useful it is in helping us to understand human behaviour or helping to improve human welfare and experience.

How will I be assessed?

You will take three two-hour end of course examinations at the end of the two year course. The examinations are called  

  • Psychological Themes Through Core Studies
  • Research Methods
  • Applied Psychology

There is no coursework in Psychology A-Level.

Independent study opportunities

Independent learning is the key to A-Level success and you will be expected to complete 5 hours of independent learning in Psychology each week, including completing tasks for lesson preparation, completing homework assessments and reviewing and revising previously learned work.

What resources do I need? 

Students are required to provide their own stationery, to include A4 lined and hole punched paper, and lever-arch A4 folders.

Will I do any practical work in psychology?

For the Research Methods examination you will learn about the methods that psychologists use when they investigate behaviour, and you will have the chance to plan and evaluate some investigations for yourself. You will also learn the conventions of writing up psychological research and use these to present your own work.  Although this is not assessed as coursework, your experience of conducting research will support your work in the research methods examination.

What can studying psychology at A-Level lead on to?

The A-Level can lead to a University course in psychology and related science and social science subjects, such as cognitive neuroscience or sociology. It will also support students with studies in English and drama, media/film, business studies, sports science, politics, nursing and teacher training degrees.

What do psychologists do? 

To find out what psychologists do, go to www.bps.org.uk/careers, where you will find a whole range of careers for Psychologists described, including Health Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Educational Psychology and research posts in academic fields of psychology such as cognitive neuroscience. 

What grades do I need for this course? 

Normal school entry requirements for Sixth Form plus GCSE English grade 5 or higher.  A good GCSE in science and maths would also be desirable, as the course has both scientific and challenging mathematical elements in it.