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A Level Psychology at Newquay Tretherras School

Course description

Psychology touches on every aspect of your life. Who you are now, how you will be in the future, how you interact with family, friends, and strangers; these are all things that Psychology can help you better understand.

Psychology can be both fun and fascinating! From intriguing optical illusions that reveal the inner workings of the brain to shocking experiments that expose how far people will go to obey an authority figure, there is always something amazing and even downright astonishing to learn about the human mind and behaviour.

This qualification offers an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.

Course content

PAPER 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology
3.1.1 Social influence: Research into how people behave within society.

3.1.2 Memory: Investigations into the 2 different memory models, the multi-store model and the working memory model.

3.1.3 Attachment: This section looks at caregiver-infant interactions in humans and the various stages and types of attachments.

3.1.4 Psychopathology: This unit looks at definitions of abnormality; focusing on three disorders and psychological explanations and treatments.

PAPER 2: Psychology in Context
3.2.1 Approaches in Psychology

  • Learning approaches.
  • The cognitive approach.
  • The biological approach.
  • The psychodynamic approach.
  • Humanistic Psychology.
  • Comparison of approaches

3.2.2 Biopsychology

  • The divisions of the nervous system: central and peripheral (somatic and autonomic).
  • The structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons.

3.2.3 Research methods
Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following research methods, scientific processes and techniques of data handling and analysis, be familiar with their use and be aware of their strengths and limitations.

3.3 Issues and options in Psychology
A practical unit where students design, test and evaluate their own piece of Psychological research.

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology
3.3.1 Issues and debates in Psychology

  • Gender and culture in Psychology
  • Free will and determinism.
  • The nature-nurture debate.
  • Holism and reductionism.
  • Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation.
  • Ethical implications of research studies.

Also, one topic from each of the following sections is chosen for the OPTIONS section of paper 3:

  • Relationships/Gender/Cognition and development
  • Schizophrenia/Eating behaviour/Stress
  • Aggression/Forensic psychology/Addiction.

Entry requirements

We require that students have achieved a minimum of grade B in GCSE English, Maths and Science (double award). High numeracy and literacy skills are vital to ensure student success at A Level.


Structure of Question Paper 1

  • 2 hour written exam, 33.3% of total marks
  • Compulsory content – Four sections – all equally weighted
  • Combination of multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing questions

Structure of Question Paper 2

  • 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total marks.
  • Combination of multiple-choice, short answer and essay style questions.

Structure of Question Paper 3

  • 2 hour written paper, 33.3% of total marks.

Future opportunities

Psychology can help you in your future career, whatever that may be. Whilst there are plenty of exciting careers in psychology that you might want to explore, studying the subject can help you in many other professions as well such as Media, Advertising, Business and Management Consultancy.

Further information

Students are required to put a minimum of 3 hours a week independent learning outside of lesson time and homework will be given regularly. Assessments will be given every two weeks and students will be expected to maintain their target grade in all assessments.

Outside of the Classroom
Students will be expected to carry out a minimum of one research practical. Attendance on Psychology trips, such as Plymouth University Psychology Labs or Paignton Zoo, will be compulsory.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newquay Tretherras School directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information


  • More information
    • I believe that Newquay Tretherras has a unique family identity, offering something special to its students. Our aim at Post 16 is to continue to provide you with an excellent education, combined with a wide range of opportunities to develop the qualities and personal social skills you need to make a successful transition to the next stage in your lives. We have an extremely positive Sixth Form ethos, and all students enjoy being part of a community in which they come first.

      We are proud of the contribution our Sixth Form makes to the life of NT. Not only do we achieve great results, we aim to make your time in the Sixth Form an enriching, worthwhile experience. Our Tutor team is highly experienced and dedicated: we pride ourselves on the level of care and guidance we offer, and the team will constantly monitor individual progress to ensure that no one falls behind.

      Our key guarantees to you are:

      • High quality academic teaching, with a friendly and adult approach
      • Excellent relationships with staff who know you well
      • Outstanding individual personal support to motivate and inspire you to succeed
      • Involvement in leadership and elite programmes
      • Involvement in our unique “Future Pathways” schemes to ensure successful transfer to the next stage
      • Opportunities to participate in innovative “Internship” programmes
      • Dedicated Sixth Form facilities, including a fully staffed and well equipped private study room
      • Bursaries and financial support for transport for those in need
      • Forging a strong bond between students, Newquay Tretherras and our Parents who remain a major part of our partnership

      I look forward to welcoming you into NT6.