Psychology is a practical and engaging course; the specification provides insight into, and experience of, how psychology works, stimulating curiosity and encouraging an engagement with psychology in our everyday lives.

Psychology is a challenging but rewarding course. You will develop skills relating to problem-solving, organisation and initiative that are in demand in the workplace. You will study topics such as responses to people in need, the development of phobias and children’s moral development. You will also focus on a further range of topics including forensic psychology, health and clinical psychology and sport psychology.

Throughout the year we welcome guest speakers to the College that previously have included a forensic psychologist, a practising lecturer and several health care professionals. We also run Psychology workshops each year such as the popular CBT workshop to engage you in the content you will learn outside of the classroom. We run a variety of co-curriculum clubs within the department too such as Psychology in the Real World and the Psychology of Love and Relationships, which allows for the opportunity to immerse yourself in the course whilst having fun debates. In recent years our trips have included a visit to the Old Bailey and Euro Disney, where students engaged in the Psychology Live conferences.

Psychology is a very helpful subject for many possible careers or courses in Higher Education. Whilst it is clearly relevant for careers/courses in the caring professions such as clinical psychology or social work, it is also relevant to many more such as medicine, computer science, scientific and social research, journalism, advertising and market research, nursing, criminology, counselling, management, personnel management, design studies, anthropology, clinical psychology, teaching, pharmacy and biology.

Some of our students have gone on to study Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy or related courses. Psychology can be studied in Higher Education in combination with many other subjects.

Research Methods – Exam Paper – 30% of marks

Psychological themes through core studies – Exam Paper – 35% of marks

Applied Psychology – Exam Paper – 35% of marks


Research methods
You will become familiar with the four main techniques for collecting and analysing data. These are self-report, experiment, observation and correlation. You will also need to be familiar with planning and conducting research, data recording, analysis and presentation, report writing and science in psychology. You will carry out your own small scale practical activities and reflect on your experiences.

Psychological themes through core studies
This section will assess your knowledge and understanding of the core studies as well as your ability to evaluate the studies both on their own and in relation to the study they have been paired with. The core studies are placed within a broad area of investigation. Within each area, you are required to examine four core studies. These core studies are paired together around key themes.  For each key theme, you need to examine both a classic and a contemporary study. For example when studying Social psychology, one key theme is responses to people in authority so the classic research by Milgram focuses on obedience and the contemporary research by Bocchiaro et al focuses on disobedience and whistleblowing.

Applied Psychology
This component is studied in year 2 of the course and consists of one compulsory section: Issues in mental health. You will also study two further applied psychology options which are criminal psychology and sports and exercise psychology. You will learn to apply methodological issues and debates in psychology, recognise the contribution the key research has made to the topic, and apply your knowledge to suggest ways in which improvements can be made to society.

Psychology is a popular subject that can be studied at University on its own or in combination with other subjects. It is useful for many careers (e.g. teaching, police, social work, nursing, personnel). Have a look at the British Psychological Society website for more information about the area of psychology you may be interested in and to find out about different types of psychologists roles. Additionally any reading you can complete around the subject from a standard psychology book will give you a head start on the course. For exam board specific books please contact the psychology department for suggestions.

Study Level

A Level

Exam Board


Contact Details

Miss A Malyon

Head of Department