Psychology is the study of the human mind. Students will learn to answer questions such as “what is normal?”, “what drives people to commit horrible acts against one another?” and “are we born evil?”. By delving deep into human behaviour, we aim for our psychologists to become ambitious, curious and deeply empathetic individuals.


The Psychology curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that students build on prior knowledge at KS4 and frequently revisit new knowledge through their two years of study. In the first year of study you will become familiar with how psychologists conduct research and the main psychological schools of thought. You will also understand key biological processes that are important in human behaviour and begin to apply these foundational skills and knowledge to understanding social behaviour, memory, attachment and psychopathology. In your second year of study you will consolidate your knowledge of research skills and apply this to the study of offending behaviour, cognition and development and schizophrenia. You will also consider key psychological debates such as ‘are we in control of our behaviour?’, ‘are we born the way we are?’ and ‘is Psychology a science?’

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is a fascinating subject that will give you an insight into why we behave the way we do. Psychology explores deep questions about human behaviour that will develop your ability to think critically about what you see. Psychology is an extremely broad subject that would offer an advantage to any further area of education/employment you are interested in.

What you will study?

During the course you will study a range of different human behaviours including memory, obedience, attachment, offending behaviour as well as a range of mental health conditions including depression, OCD, phobias and schizophrenia. Psychology is an entirely externally assessed qualification. Please see below for a breakdown of AQA exam papers:

Paper 1 – Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Section A – Social Influence
  • Section B – Memory
  • Section C – Attachment
  • Section D – Psychopathology

33.3% of overall grade – assessed through multiple choice, short-answer, and extended writing questions.


Paper 2 – Psychology in Context

  • Section A – Approaches
  • Section B – Biopsychology
  • Section C – Research Methods*

33.3% of overall grade – assessed through multiple choice, short-answer, and extended writing questions.

*Research Methods accounts for 25% of students’ overall grade. 10% of that comes from maths-based questions. Research Methods questions will also feature across all three papers.


Paper 3- Issues and Options in Psychology

  • Section A – Issues and Debates
  • Section B – OPTIONAL TOPIC – Cognition and Development
  • Section C – OPTIONAL TOPIC – Schizophrenia
  • Section D – OPTIONAL TOPIC – Forensic Psychology

33.3% of overall grade – assessed through multiple choice, short-answer, and extended writing questions.

University degrees that require or often prefer Psychology

The study of Psychology at this level provides an excellent route to higher education in the following fields: Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Sports Science, Education, Nursing and Midwifery, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. 


Possible careers

Psychology is an excellent passport to a number of different occupations including those that relate directly to Psychology: clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, occupational psychologist, lecturer, forensic psychologist, counsellor, and neuroscientist. It could also lead to careers that indirectly relate to Psychology including: education, human resources, advertising/marketing, media, banking and finance.


Entry Requirements

 Minimum grade 6 in GCSE English Language, Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics and a Grade 5 in GCSE Science.