Psychology is the use of scientific principles to study the mind and behaviour. It is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour. It is both a thriving academic discipline and a vital professional practice. We are all interested in what makes people tick and how this understanding can help solve major problems in society. Psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, then arriving at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology. Psychologists help people with all sorts of problems, working with them to bring about change for the better. It is a popular subject amongst students at both GCSE and A-level covering a wide range of topics.



What is Psychology?

There are 2 papers, with a total of 8 topics, students will study for their Psychology GCSE.

Paper 1 (5 topics)

  • Development – How did you develop?
  • Memory – How does your memory work?
  • Psychological problems – How would psychological problems affect you?
  • The brain and neuropsychology – How does your brain affect you
  • Social influence – How do others affect you?

Paper 2 (3 topics)

  • Criminal psychology – Why do people become criminals?
  • Sleep and dreaming – Why do you need to sleep and dream?
  • Research methods – How do you carry out psychological research?


KS5 (A level):

A Level Psychology is a two year course; at the end of the course students will sit three exams each worth 33% of the final grade.

Paper 1 – Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology:

  • Why do people conform or obey?
  • Why do some individuals remain independent or rebel?
  • How do people remember things in the short term and long term?
  •  What causes us to forget?
  • Why is it important for an attachment to form between a caregiver and infant?
  • How do we form attachments?
  • How do we define, explain and treat abnormality?

Paper 2 – Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods

  • How do the learning, cognitive, biological and psychodynamic approaches explain human behaviour?
  • How do psychologists study the brain?
  • How do psychologists conduct research? What methods do they use?

Paper 3  Issues and Debates, Gender, Schizophrenia, Aggression

  • The importance of nature, nurture, gender, culture and free will
  • Sensitivity and bias in psychological research
  • What role do chromosomes and hormones play in sex and gender?
  • What influence do culture and media have on gender roles?
  • How do psychologists define, explain and treat schizophrenia?
  • Biological and social explanations of aggression
  • Why does aggression occur in prisons?