What is Psychology?

A-Level Psychology students will be taught to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods, and ethical issues. They will also learn how to evaluate therapies and treatments in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness. Students will also develop an understanding of research methods, practical research skills and mathematical skills.

How is it studied?

AQA A-Level Psychology is taught within the two-year and one year programmes.

Psychology is taught in small groups, allowing students to test their understanding of theories through class discussion and debate.

The subject is taught through assessing the research and ideas of psychologists, looking at key case studies. Students begin by looking at core topics related to social influence (conformity and resistance); memory (models of memory and factors affecting the memory); and attachment (the development of bonding in infants). They will then look at different approaches to psychology and see how these have influenced research. Finally, they will look at a variety of issues in psychology drawn from relationships, gender, cognition and development, schizophrenia, eating disorders, stress, addiction, aggression, and forensic psychology.

How is A-Level Psychology assessed?

Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Introductory Topics in Psychology 33.3% External Exam: 2 hours
2 Psychology in Context 33.3% External Exam: 2 hours
3 Issues and Opinions in Psychology 33.3% External Exam: 2 hours

Exam Board: AQA

What do I need?

5 GCSEs grade 5 or above including Maths and English or equivalent international qualifications.

For international students who have taken IELTS, we require an overall score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 for each of the reading and writing components.

For international students who have taken IGCSE English (Second Language), we require grade 5 or above.

There is no requirement to have studied psychology before, although it is helpful to have an inquiring mind and a good understanding of human biology. Students should recognise that the research methods of psychology are scientific, so it is useful to have a background understanding of the practical aspects of science and how research is recorded.

What should I study with Psychology?

Psychology combines well with a very broad range of subjects: the focus on human cognition, emotion and development brings an interesting (and always relevant) perspective to many other areas of study. Popular combinations include:

Biology, Mathematics, Psychology

Biology, Chemistry, Psychology

Sociology, Politics, Psychology,

Economics, Mathematics, Psychology


What can I do with A-Level Psychology?

Many students continue to study Psychology at university or use it to support a broad range of courses. As the subject helps students understand the human mind and its reactions, it can complement a very wide range of subjects.

Questions about the course

Is it possible to study Psychology in one year?

Yes, alongside the one year BTEC Business Diploma as part of the College’s BTEC+ course or as an entirely new A-Level on its own.