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Psychology A Level Block B & D at Gravesend Grammar School

Course description

Make a difference to your life and others; explore ‘Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour’. Is there a ‘banality of evil’? Are you a ‘Little Oedipus’? How can we explain and treat depression, schizophrenia, phobias and OCD? How can we use research to treat offenders in the modern world?

Understanding why people are the way they are and why they act as they do is a fascinating area of study. An insight is gained into the workings of the mind, such as how the memory works. During this course students learn about key psychologists, research and theories and develop an understanding of the principles and perspectives governing Psychology.  The work of notable psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Ivan Pavlov will be evaluated and their theories will be compared and contrasted. 

Course content

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology

Social influence (including conformity, obedience and minority influence)

Memory (including models of memory, forgetting and eye witness testimony)

Attachment (including animal studies, Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation and Ainsworth’s Strange Situation)

Psychopathology (including explaining and treating phobias, OCD and depression)

Paper 2: Psychology in context

Approaches in psychology (Learning approaches, Cognitive, Biological, Psychodynamic and Humanistic)

Biopsychology (including the nervous system, neurons, the process of synaptic transmission, the endocrine system, localisation of function, and sleep)

Research methods (including experiments, observations, self-report, correlations, content analysis and case studies. Scientific processes, data handling and analysis, and inferential testing)

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology

Compulsory content: Issues and debates in psychology (including gender and culture bias, free will v determinism, nature v nurture, holism v reductionism, idiographic v nomothetic, and ethical implications.

Option 1: one from Relationships, Gender, or Cognition and development

Option 2: one from Schizophrenia, Eating behaviour or Stress

Option 3: one from Aggression, Forensic psychology or Addiction 

Entry requirements

It is recommended that you have a high GCSE level in English or a Humanities subject with an ability to write effectively. You are also advised to have a good GCSE levels in Science and Maths to cope with the higher mathematical demand in the A Level specification.


No coursework. 100% written examinations at the end of a two-year course.  

Three two-hour long examination papers each contain a mix of multiple-choice, short answer and extended writing. 

Future opportunities

You could take this course to complement other A level courses or to prepare for the A2 course. In almost any field you then decide to follow, there is likely to be a Psychologist pulling the strings somewhere: business, advertising, teaching, counselling, police, zoo keeping, artificial intelligence, Prime Minister,…

Further information

Previous visits have included the Freud Museum, the Holocaust Exhibition, The Royal Courts of Justice, The Natural History Museum, Bethlem Hospital (‘Bedlam’), and London Zoo including ‘The Phobias Experience’. We have also been psychologists’ ‘guinea pigs’ participating in research for Kent University. Students will also carry out investigations on anyone or thing who is willing!

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 08 December 2017
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