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Psychology AS/A2 at Roundwood Park School

Course description

Psychology relates to science, humanities and mathematics, so it provides a good preparation for many other courses and combines successfully with a range of subjects. It is particularly useful as a complement to science-based courses, for example for students planning futures in medicine or veterinary science.

This course aims to:

  • Explore people’s thinking and behaviour, such as learning, memory, prejudice and mental illness
  • Develop investigative skills and critical thinking in relation to theories and research
  • Apply knowledge and understanding about psychology to the real world in areas such as eye-witness testimony, autism and sport.
Course Content

Students study five approaches at AS level each with the same structure.

Social Approach:  explores the influences of individuals, groups and society on behaviour.  Students will investigate why we obey orders from authority figures and how the creation of in-groups and out-groups may lead to prejudice and how this prejudice could be reduced.

Cognitive Approach:  investigates factors involved in remembering and forgetting.  Theories are applied to helping to increase the reliability of eye-witness testimony.

Psychodynamic Approach:  follows Freud’s theories on psychosexual development and the influence of parenting on our gender development.

Biological Approach: explores genetics and hormones in gender development.  Students will learn about brain lateralisation differences between males and females.

Learning Approach: considers the shaping effects of classical and operant conditioning on behaviour.  Social learning theory is studied and used to explain the influence of advertising using role models.

A series of short practical experiments accompany the approaches and allow for students to develop an active knowledge of the scientific aspects of psychology.


At A2, students study three applications each with a similar structure as the AS units. These are: Criminal Psychology, Child Psychology and Clinical Psychology.  Through this consistent structure, students develop a holistic understanding of psychology, considering conflicting and complementary explanations to issues and major debates.

Students will learn many skills throughout the course.  These include:-

  • Using their knowledge and understanding to pose scientific questions, define scientific problems, and to present scientific arguments and ideas;
  • Considering ethical issues and appreciate the ways in which society uses science to inform decision-making;
  • Using theories, models and ideas to develop and modify scientific explanations, and appropriate methodology to answer scientific questions.

Students are assessed through multiple choice, short answer and essay questions.

The Psychology A Level is a thoroughly enjoyable course where students learn skills suitable for a career and for life in general.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C or above, with B grades in relevant subjects (including English Language at grade B) for any advanced level course, including traditional A levels, Applied A levels and Advanced Vocational Awards. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Roundwood Park School directly.

Last updated date: 07 April 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years