Psychology (AQA)

Welcome to our thriving Psychology Department. We give our Sixth Form students a chance to delve into the popular A level subject combining scientific study of the human mind with a deeper level of philosophical debate, such as questioning whether humans ever actually have free will.

Psychology is current, challenging and promotes topical discussions, such as ‘is deceit ever justifiable?’ or ‘how reliable is the diagnosis of mental illness?’ linking through to the wider implications of psychological research on the economy and the ethical considerations behind this.

The transferable skills gained from studying psychology are excellent preparation for university and beyond include reasoning, teamwork, research skills and critical thinking, opening access to careers in specialist psychology, medicine, law, marketing and many more.

Topics studied

Paper 1 topics:

  • Social influence – investigating why some conform and obey while others do not
  • Memory – looking at short-term and long-term models of memory and eyewitness testimony
  • Attachment – exploring how our initial attachments shape our lives
  • Psychopathology (including OCD, depression and phobias) – discovering the characteristics, explanations and treatments of mental health disorders

Paper 2 topics:

  • Approaches in psychology – comparing explanations and concepts of human behaviour
  • Biopsychology – focusing on the brain, nervous system and biological rhythms
  • Research methods – offering a detailed understanding of how psychologists investigate mind and behaviour, including ethical considerations

Paper 3 topics:

  • Issues and debates in psychology – further exploration of debates such as nature vs nurture
  • Gender – looking at stereotypes, explanations and gender dysphoria
  • Schizophrenia – investigating diagnosis, explanations and treatment
  • Addiction – considering the risk factors, explanations and treatment

Note: gender, schizophrenia and addiction are only studied in Upper Sixth

100% examination assessment at the end of two years:

  • Paper 1 – Introductory Topics in Psychology, 2 hours
  • Paper 2 – Psychology in Context, 2 hours
  • Paper 3 – Issues and Options in Psychology, 2 hours

Each paper contains a range of questions including knowledge, application, evaluation, mathematical analysis and extended writing. Please access the AQA website for full details.


A* in A level Psychology in 2023


A*–A in A level Psychology in 2023


A*–B in A level Psychology in 2023

“Learning about human behaviour has been really interesting and has helped me to evaluate different perspectives more thoroughly.”
"Psychology is a refreshing subject that is relevant to our daily lives, behaviour and relationships. It is insightful and thought-provoking."
"I really enjoy psychology because I can relate to it and it gives me another perspective on the world around me."

Academic enrichment

Throughout the year you will have the opportunity to attend psychology conferences with a number of different expert speakers from the field to enrich their learning. Subjects often include forensic psychology, sports psychology, cognitive neuroscience and even the psychology of dance. The opportunity for reflection and development of your critical analysis skills brings an added dimension to your understanding of how psychology fits into the world.

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