Entry requirements: GCSE grade 5 in Mathematics GCSE grade 6 English Language or English Literature or a written subject GCSE grade 5 in Biology or 55 in Combined Science
The Edexcel Psychology specification offers students the opportunity to gain a thorough introduction to the fascinating study of the human mind and behaviour. Students will study both classical and contemporary research, gaining an appreciation of the scientific research methods used by psychologists and how our understanding of psychology is applied today. Throughout the A level course, students will also develop the skills to analyse, assess and apply their knowledge to novel situations and research studies.
The topics in Year 1 focus on the areas of psychology that have laid the foundations of modern psychological understanding. Students look at four main psychological approaches: social, cognitive, biological and learning theories. The emphasis in Year 1 is on developing a strong understanding of topics, research methods and acquiring skills in evaluation, analysis and application of knowledge.
Year 2 builds on the knowledge acquired in Year 1, incorporating a higher level of understanding of psychological skills, research methods and synoptic analysis. Students will also apply their psychological understanding to the real world, with a focus on Clinical psychology and one other optional topic area.
The A level is assessed through 3 external written papers at the end of Year 13:
- Paper 1: Foundations in psychology
- Paper 2: Applications of psychology (Clinical psychology and one optional topic from Criminological psychology, Child psychology and Health psychology)
- Paper 3: Psychological skills
A level Psychology lays the foundations for further studies in psychology at degree level and beyond. The skills students gain through studying A level Psychology are also useful to a range of careers such as teaching, law, police, medicine, health, marketing and business.