Psychology is defined as ‘the scientific study of mind and behaviour’. The mind is something intangible that exists within the brain. An unseen process of enzymes, chemical, and electric current moving within the structure of our neural networks dictates why we feel, think and behave the way we do.

Course Overview

You will address many important questions that psychological research has tried to answer. For example:

  • How is human memory organised, and why does it sometimes let us down just when we need it most?
  • Why do we sometimes obey authority figures, when we know that what they are saying or telling us to do is wrong?
  • How do new-born infants form attachments to their caregivers, and what are the consequences if these attachments are not formed?
  • What are the causes of mental disorders and how can they best be treated?
  • How do psychologists use different research methods to study questions like those asked above?

Unit Guide

You will study the following units on A Level Psychology:

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Psychopathology Research Methods
  • Biopsychology
  • Cognition and Development
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression
  • Issues and Debates in Psychology


You will sit three examinations, each worth 33.3% of the A Level. The first is ‘Introductory Topics in Psychology’ and also examines Social Influence, Memory, and Attachment and will include questions of Psychopathology. The second is ‘Psychology in Context’, and will examine Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology and Research Methods. The third is ‘Issues and Options in Psychology’. This paper examines ‘Cognitive Development, ‘Schizophrenia’, ‘Aggression’, and ‘Issues and Debates in Psychology’.

Special features

Psychology needs practical investigation, so as part of your course you will also conduct practical and experimental work in the classroom as a way of helping to bring the subject to life. You’ll also learn how to design, conduct, and analyse your own research, which are also highly desirable skills for the world of higher education and employment.


A Level Psychology will be the springboard to further study of psychology at degree level, as well as a wide range of other degrees – law, management, forensic science, or any of the caring professions.

Last year, A Level Psychology students progressed onto a wide range of degree programmes including –

University Degree
Leicester University Psychology
Queen Mary, University of London Law with History
Edinburgh University English Literature and Classics
Leeds University English Literature
Westminster University Biomedical Sciences

Exam Board