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Psychology AS/A Level at Croesyceiliog School

Course description

Psychology is a fascinating science that observes the behaviour of people, attempts to explain it and finally use that knowledge to intervene in people’s behaviours and lives.

You experience the effects of Psychology everyday from the way you are taught in schools to the types of advertisements you watch on TV. Whatever you decide to do in the future, you are likely to be given psychological training at some point in your career. Businesses use it to sell products, coaches use it to motivate, Health Professionals use it to understand disorders and treat clients and the media use it to create people friendly web sites, TV shows and to market artists. So the real question is… why wouldn’t you study it?!

Course content

At AS level we will study two units:

PY 1: Approaches in Psychology.

  • Four major psychological approaches form the basis of this Unit: the Biological (Physiological/Medical) approach, the Psychodynamic approach, the Behaviourist approach, and the Cognitive approach.

PY 2: Psychology: Core Studies and Applied Research Methods

  • The core theme for this unit is psychological research. It is designed to encourage candidates to explore the nature and practice of psychological enquiry. The unit comprises two parts: the Core Studies (where candidates will look at the more intriguing psychological studies that have taken place through time) and Applied Research Methods (where candidates will apply their knowledge of research methods to novel situations).

An important aspect of any science is research. Psychology is an evidence based subject. This means you will be taught how to conduct research on humans as well as learning how to critically analyse the research of others. This aspect of the course is crucial and runs throughout the 2 years.

At A2 candidates will further develop their research methods in Unit PY3: Psychology: Research Methods and Issues in Research. PY4: Psychology: Controversies, Topics and Applications will form the last part of the A level. In ‘Controversies’, candidates demonstrate how to resolve conflicting evidence. They will then go on to study topics such as relationships, memory, intelligence, levels of consciousness and adolescence and adulthood. The final section will look at health psychology, sports psychology, forensic psychology, educational psychology and abnormal psychology.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum 5 A* to C grades.
  • A minimum of a grade C in Maths and English.

Psychology is a Science A Level and students must be able to conduct a study on humans. This includes writing hypotheses and analysing their data mathematically. Psychology is also similar to English as it contains a lot of reading and students must be able to write structured essays. This means you need to be able to write well and have a good understanding of maths and science.
As a Science A Level, students will need an average B grade across their GCSE science subjects.


You will be assessed through four exams, 2 in each year of the course.All exams contain a mixture of short and long answer questions. In both years you will be tested on your knowledge of psychological research methods as well as the core topics covered.

Future opportunities

Psychology is a highly respected A Level by universities. The breadth of skills it requires means it is recommended for those entering both Medicine and Law. It is very useful for any student who wishes to work directly with people i.e. in business, education, social services or in the Police. Students seeking careers in Early Years childcare or teaching find the course beneficial as well as those planning careers such as sports physiotherapy.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 19 December 2014

Key information

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