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A Level Psychology

Social Sciences

Social Sciences
Social Sciences
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code 601/6044/5
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


The course is split into three components taught over two years.

Component 1 – Psychology: Past to Present

The purpose of this component is to give a solid grounding in some of the basic core aspects of psychology. The intention therefore is to allow students, through the study of classic research, to gain an appreciation that psychology continues to develop and evolve. Students will be asked to explore contemporary debates using their knowledge and understanding of the five approaches (biological, psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive and positive).

Component 2 – Psychology: Investigating Behaviour

The central aspect for this component is that of psychological research, from the initial planning stages through to analysing and evaluating. To ensure true appreciation of the principles of psychological investigation the students are expected to gain first-hand experience of two research methods. Students will be required to respond to questions concerning these investigations in the external assessment.

Component 3 – Psychology: Real World Applications

Having learnt about the psychological approaches in Component 1, students are expected to apply this knowledge and understanding to human/animal behaviours. Students should be able to explain and draw conclusions about the possible causes of these behaviours and understand that psychology has the potential to impact on society as a whole by developing methods of modifying behaviour. In addition, students will explore five controversies that continue to pose challenges for psychology. These controversies will be considered synoptically and draw on the content from the whole of the A-level course.


Through discussion, group work, individual work, presentations, written projects, essay writing and conducting research.

How will it be delivered?

Component 1 – Psychology: Past to Present (1/3 of the qualification). External assessment: 2 hour 15 minute examination.

• Compulsory questions relating to five psychological approaches, classic pieces of research evidence and a contemporary debate.

Component 2 – Psychology: Investigating Behaviour (1/3 of the qualification). External assessment: 2 hour 15 minute examination.

• Principles of research: compulsory questions on how psychological investigations are carried out (including social and developmental psychology).

• Personal investigations: compulsory questions based on two investigative activities carried out prior to the assessment.

• Application of research methods to a novel scenario: compulsory questions requiring a response to a piece of research.

Component 3 – Psychology: Implications in the Real World (1/3 of the qualification). External assessment: 2 hour 15 minute examination.

• Applications: a choice of three structured questions from six on psychological behaviours.

• Controversies: one question from a choice of two requiring a synoptic exploration of psychological controversies.

Entry requirements

 GCSE Grade 5 in Psychology. If you have not studied this subject at GCSE level you will need GCSE Grade 5 in English Language or English Literature and GCSE Grade 4 Maths and GCSE Grade 4,4 in Combined Science.

Your next steps...

This specification provides a suitable foundation for the study of psychology or a related area through a range of higher education courses, progression to the next level of vocational qualifications or employment. In addition, the specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for learners who do not progress to further study in this subject.

Students studying psychology can move successfully on to courses in psychology, sociology, criminology, law and police studies, social work, teaching and human resources and many others. These can be studied via the usual apprenticeship or university route.


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