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Psychology A Level

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and the way that individuals behave. Examples of the kind of things psychologists are interested in are memory loss, gender identity, criminal profiling, addiction and the experience mental health issues like depression, phobias, schizophrenia and OCD. Psychologists try to understand and explain human behaviour objectively but the extent to which humans can be treated scientifically is a source of great debate amongst those studying human behaviour.

Through studying Psychology we will be attempting to answer questions such as: Why do we conform to the majority? Why do we obey authority figures? How important are our experiences in childhood for our adult development? Can we trust our own memory? What influences us most: nature or nurture?

Psychologists use many different methods of enquiry, including experiments, observations, questionnaires and case studies. During your studies you will have the opportunity to design and conduct your own investigation using one of these methods.

Exam Board: AQA



All students (16-18 year olds and 19+) on level 3 vocational and academic programmes will study two qualifications over the duration of their two-year course.


An example of this is BTEC students will study for a 90 credit qualification in the 1st year. Upon successful completion, they will be able to progress to the 2nd year and study a diploma/extended diploma qualification.


A level students will study a two year linear A Level programme. At the end of their 1st year, students will sit internally assessed exams.


UK and EU students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year will normally be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3.


Course fees (for learners aged 19+) may be charged as follows:

A Level programme (2 year course)
1 x A Level = £850 per annum
2 x A Levels = £1,700 per annum
3 x A Levels = £2,550 per annum

Plus registration/exam fees = £120 per A Level


Vocational programme (eg BTEC / CACHE / UAL)
90 credit qualification (year 1) = £2,550
Diploma/extended diploma qualification (year 2) = £2,550


Students who are 19+ years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.

  • What will I study and learn?

    You will study a variety of areas within the subject including social influence, mental health, how individuals develop from birth and the way that biological factors can influence behaviour. There will also be a lot of emphasis on understanding how understanding psychologists conduct their work - carrying out investigations through experiments, observation and questionnaires and then how they work out the significance of their findings.

    The topics you will cover in your first year are:

    • Social influence
    • Memory
    • Attachment
    • Approaches in psychology
    • Psychopathy
    • Research methods

    You will also study the following in your second year:

    • Biopsychology
    • Issues and debates in psychology
    • Gender
    • Schizophrenia
    • Forensic psychology

    Psychology lessons involve a wide variety of activities including class discussion, small group work, reading, videos and short lectures from the teacher.

  • How is the course assessed?

    A level students will study a two year linear A Level programme.

    At the end of their 1st year, students will sit internally assessed exams.

  • What courses would combine well with this course?

    Psychology goes well with many A level subjects. Some popular combinations include Mathematics, Applied Science and Sociology.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    A Level Psychology is a science based subject and involves some statistics. You will need to be prepared to work using scientific principles and be competent in using mathematical skills at GCSE level so that you can apply them to your studies. You will need to be interested in reading about and discussing ideas and topics in psychology and be able to develop good essay writing skills. However it is not necessary to have studied psychology before.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    You will need an average GCSE points score of 5.75 including GCSE English at grade 5 and Maths at grade 6 and Science at grade 6 is also preferred.

    Points calculation

    The average points score for entry to an A Level programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points).

    From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).

    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    An A Level in Psychology can either be used for entry to a Psychology degree or as a contributory A Level for a variety of other degrees. People with a psychology qualification work in a wide variety of fields including counselling, nursing, teaching and sports as well as occupational, clinical or educational psychology.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    You will need to pay for one textbook, approximately £25 for each year and revision conferences and trips as required.

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