Psychology A level

Social Sciences

Social Sciences
Social Sciences
Please contact this provider directly if you are interested in applying for this course.

What will you be working towards?

Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Unit 1:
Mental Illness
• When does behaviour become an illness?
• Phobias, depression and OCD
• Explanations of the cause of mental illness
Social Influence
• Why do we conform?
• Why do we obey?
• Why do we disobey?
• Your relationship with your mother
• The influence of childhood on later relationships
• Remembering and forgetting
• The link between short-term and long-term memory
• Why is eye witness testimony often inaccurate?
Unit 2:
• 5 Explanations of human behaviour
• Brain areas associated with vision, sleep and language
• How do psychologists carry out experiments?
• Making research more scientific
• The analysis and reporting of findings
• Gender bias in research
• Is our behaviour due to the environment or to our genes?
• Do we have free will?
Unit 3:
• Explanations for choice of a partner
• How do relationships break down?
• Virtual relationships in social media
• Causes such as genes, the brain and family atmosphere
• Hallucinations and delusions
• Explanations and drug therapies
• What is addiction?
• What puts a person at risk of nicotine/gambling addiction?
• Reducing addiction



Year 12: 


Models of memory. Explanations for forgetting. Factors affecting the accuracy of eye witness testimony as used for sentencing in law courts. 

Social Influence

Why we conform in society. Why we obey people in authority. How behaviour can bring about social change. 


Explaining and treating phobias. Explaining and treating depression. Explaining and treating OCD. 


Caregiver-infant interactions in humans. Deprivation and its effects, including the Romanian orphans. The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships.


Circadian Rhythms – sleep patterns, jet lag. How our brain can change and adapt to situations and events. The fight or flight response. Localisation of function in the brain – how the different areas of the brain are responsible for different behaviour.

Approaches in Psychology

Behaviourism – how we learn through reward and punishment. Freud - the unconscious mind. Humanism and how we seek to improve our lives. 

Research Methods

The research methods that underlie most psychological research are taught in depth throughout the course. 

Year 13:

Issues and Debates in Psychology

Gender and cultural issues in Psychology. Are we driven by Free will or are our lives determined by external factors? Are we a product of nature or nurture? 

Romantic Relationships

Attraction, maintenance and breakdown of relationships. Virtual/online relationships and parasocial relationships, 

e.g. stalkers.


What is schizophrenia? What are the causes, therapies and treatment, for schizophrenia? 

Forensic Psychology

Offender profiling. Explanations of why people commit crime. Treatment and the effectiveness of prison and non-prison sentences.

How will it be delivered?

There are three written examinations of 2 hours each at the end of Year 13. There is a separate examination for each unit which is worth one third of the full A Level.

Entry requirements

Students will require Grade 5 or above in Mathematics and English Language, as well as Grade 6 in Biology. No prior knowledge of Psychology is necessary but you will need to be able to think critically and analyse statistical data.