Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Course Guides


AS AQA ‘A’ (7181)

A2 AQA ‘A’ (7182)

Department description


Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. It is all around us, in our relationships, our homes, our schools and communities. Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour.

Psychology is an optional subject offered at A-Level. At AS level you will study a broad range of topics stemming from the different areas of Psychology, examples include the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, the effects of day-care on a child’s aggression, how abnormality develops, the relationship between stress and illness, why we conform to others and research methods. There are two units in total and both of these are examined at the end of the Year 12.


At A2 level you will again study a broad range of topics, including explanations of why we sleep, what makes people aggressive, why relationships breakdown, how schizophrenia develops and how it can be treated, media influences on behaviour and research methods. There are two units in total; one unit is examined in January in Year 13 and the final unit in the summer of Year 13.


You will look at ideas and theories in psychology, learn how to critically analyse these theories, and develop coherent arguments. By the end of the course you should be able to understand, analyse and form opinions on theories, and present and communicate your knowledge in a clear way. You will also have developed a critical approach to scientific methods and evidence, and a knowledge and understanding of how psychology works and its role in society.

Studying psychology will give you lots of options for your career, especially if you are interested in working with people or in areas that need good problem solving skills. This is because it develops a number of valuable transferable skills. If you are interested in finding out why people behave the way they do or how the brain works then psychology could be for you.

'Studying Psychology has proven to be both extensive and beneficial, combining aspects of sciences and history into a subject that’s not only interesting, but also enjoyable. For those keen to learn about human functions and social behaviour, Psychology is amongst the best of the choices available.'   


Year 12 pupil

'Studying Psychology at A-Level is brilliant! It has improved my perspective of how the mind works and how easy it can be manipulated. I find the study of Psychology thought-provoking, intriguing and enjoyable. Being able to delve into the human mind every lesson gives me something to look forward to every school day!'

Year 13 Pupil