Psychology is the scientific study of how humans behave. The A Level course looks at how our behaviour is influenced by the environment and by our biology. Psychology is not only a good subject for students who are studying sciences but it also fits well with other social science subjects such as Sociology and vocational courses such as Health and Social Care.
The course is ideal for anyone interested in pursuing a career that requires dealing with people because it will help individuals to understand others. Students will get the opportunity to extend their classroom studies through extra-curricular activities, such as conferences and master classes at local Universities

Specific requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs, 2 at grade B and 3 at grade C, including English and Mathematics.
    • Please click here to see grades conversions in line with the new grading system.

What will I study?

Awarding Body:

  • Edexcel

Assessment:

  • Examination - 100%

Course Content:

Year One

1. Social Psychology: Obedience and Prejudice

  • This is the study of how others affect our behaviour, especially looking at reasons for prejudice and obedience. You will also study a real life application of understanding football hooliganism and do a practical investigation of prejudice of ‘in-groups’ against ‘out-groups’.

2. Cognitive Psychology: Memory

  • This is the study of how our memory works and why we forget things. We also look at the reliability of eye-witness testimony (how accurate people’s memories are when they witness a crime) especially when they are asked ‘leading questions’ (questions that lead somebody to a particular answer: e.g. “how fast was the car going when it smashed into the tree?”)

3. Biological Psychology

  • As the titles suggests, this area of the course focuses on how our genes, hormones and brain structure affect our behaviour. This is the most scientific part of the course, and goes well with the study of A Level Biology.

4. Learning Theories

  • This section looks at how behaviour is learned through rewards or punishments and how we copy the behaviour of those we look up to or see as similar to ourselves. The key issue looks at how the media influences the development of anorexia.

Year Two

5. Clinical Psychology

  • In the clinical psychology section of the unit, students study aspects of clinical psychology, which include how different approaches in psychology explain and treat mental health issues.
  • Students will study one of the following two applications:
    • Criminological Psychology
    • Health Psychology: Substance Misuse
  • The aim of this unit is to enable students to study how psychology can be applied to the real world. The material learned in the AS year is used to understand these two applications.

6. Psychological skills

  • This unit focuses on the debates between approaches within psychology. In the ‘Issues and Debates’ section, students will develop an all-round understanding of how to use psychological theories and evidence, applying these to everyday situations.

Where does it lead?

A-Level Psychology provides a suitable foundation for the study of Psychology, or a related area of study, at higher education and/or preparation for future employment and the world of work. There are many areas of specialism including clinical, sports, forensic, educational, and occupational psychology. Many Cadbury College students decide to study Psychology at university. Other courses popular with our students are nursing and other medically related courses including criminology, social work, human resources, marketing and teaching.

 

“I studied Psychology with Sociology and Performing Arts at Cadbury College, achieving grades DS*BB. I am now studying a degree in Psychology at Birmingham City University.”

Rachel Smyth