What will I learn?

In the first year of studying Psychology students will be learning a variety of topics through the EDXEXCEL specification.

Students will study four main topic areas of psychology:

  • Social psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Biological psychology
  • Learning psychology

You will have the opportunity to investigate behaviours such as:

  • Obedience
  • Prejudice
  • Memory
  • Aggression
  • Phobias

Within each of the topic areas the students will also have an opportunity to investigate research relevant to that area, both classic research which is very well known and also more modern. You will look at the implications of this research and understand the processes involved in conducting research, including how to go about gaining ethical consent.

A large part of the course involves students carrying out their own research: you will be given time to carry out experiments, questionnaires and observations in order to understand fully the processes involved in doing so.

Students will be well versed in ‘thinking’ like a psychologist and you will focus on the fundamental areas that have laid the foundations of modern psychological understanding and then develop this further by considering how our understanding of psychology is applied today. At the end of each topic area students get to choose a real life event/ phenomenon of relevance to today’s society and apply all of their knowledge to demonstrate their understanding.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed at the end of the 2 year course through three externally assessed exams.

The A Level will be assessed through three externally assessed exam papers:

Paper 1 - Foundations of psychology – 35%

Paper 2 - Applications of psychology – 35%

Paper 3 - Psychological Skills – 30%

Entrance requirements

Due to the great demands and academic nature of Psychology, the following minimum entrance criteria will apply:

Minimum of grade 6 in English and Mathematics

Minimum of grade 5 in Additional Science or

Minimum of grade 5 in Biology, Physics and Chemistry

Where might the course take me?

If you are considering this subject, you will need to have an investigative, enquiring mind and be prepared to read extensively and not be discouraged by independent research. A qualification in Psychology is valuable in its own right and is particularly effective to read for degrees in medicine and science. The subject provides evidence of students having acquired skills in research methods, making it appropriate for degrees in the social sciences. Additionally, an A Level in Psychology is highly appropriate for a career in management or the public sector.