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A Level Psychology

A Level Psychology at St Edmund’s College introduces this fascinating study of the human mind and behaviour.

Have you ever wondered if prison really does change criminal behaviour? Or why some people conform, but others don’t? Or, if the experiences you had before the age of five shape the person you are today?

Psychology is defined as the science of mind and behaviour. Essentially, psychology is all about people. We are all amateur psychologists, every time we try and work out why someone acted the way they did, or predict how someone might behave or react. Psychology tries to answer these questions, using a scientific approach.

Head of Department Mr N Eliasson MTL (BCU) BSc (Herts) PGCE (Cantab)​
Syllabus AQA


Course structure

Research methods are at the heart of this A Level course and therefore Mathematics (6+ or a high 5 if entered at foundation level) and Science (6+) are required to study this course.

A Level Psychology is structured around three topics:

1. Introductory topics in psychology

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachments
  • Psychopathology

2. Psychology in context

  • Approaches in psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods
  • Scientific processes
  • Data handling and analysis

3. Issues and options in psychology

  • Issues and debates in psychology

Students then explore three topics from the options below:

Option one

  • Relationships
  • Genders
  • Cognition and development

Option two

  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating behavior
  • Stress

Option three

  • Aggression
  • Forensic psychology
  • Addiction



There are three assessments at the end of Rhetoric II.

  • Paper 1 – 33.33% 2 hours – Introductory topics in Psychology
  • Paper 2 – 33.33% 2 hours – Psychology in Context
  • Paper 3 – 33.33% 2 hours – Issues and options in Psychology


Key skills developed
Independent study skills Critical thinking and analytical skills
Leadership and teamwork skills Abstract reasoning
Handling data and statistics Communication skills
Psychology is a subject like no other, combining the scientific method with philosophical enquiry.

Future pathways

A Level Psychology opens up careers within the field of psychology. Students are advised to take a general degree accredited by the British Psychological Society at the end of which they can choose a specialism. Options include roles in clinical, occupational, educational, research or criminal practice.

The broad skill-set of psychology graduates are valued by many professions. Higher level insight into human behaviour is valuable in fields such as advertising, human resource management, business and marketing - the possibilities really are limitless.