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Psychology OCR A Level 'Fees payable' at Hethersett Old Hall School

Course description

Psychology focuses on the science of the mind, behaviour and experience. It looks at how individuals think, what they do and the way they are affected by their biological make up and their wider social environment. You will explore the five key areas of psychology through studying classic and contemporary studies based around ten key psychological themes. You will also learn the importance of psychological research methods and explore the areas of mental health, child psychology and criminal psychology.

Course content

What and how will I study?

The first year of A Level:

Research methods:

  • Research methods and techniques
  • Planning and conducting research
  • Data recording, analysis and presentation
  • Report writing
  • Practical activities
  • How science works

Psychological themes through core studies:

  • Cognitive psychology: memory – the reliability of eyewitness testimony and the importance of context in retrieving memories.
  • Developmental psychology: external influences on children’s behaviour – the transmission of aggression and the influence of operant conditioning on children’s behaviour.
  • Social psychology: obedience – the extent to which people will obey a negative authority and the occurrence of disobedience and whistleblowing.
  • Biological psychology: regions of the brain – split-brain patients and the neural correlates of delayed gratification.

Individual differences: understanding disorders – analysing Freud’s case study of ‘little Hans’, the boy with a phobia of horses, and understanding autism in adults.

The second year of A Level:

Applied psychology:

  • Issues in mental health – the historical context, the medical model and alternative models.
  • Child psychology – intelligence, pre-adult brain development, perceptual development,
  • cognitive development and education, development of attachment and the impact of advertising on children.
  • Criminal psychology – what makes a criminal, the collection and processing of forensic evidence, collection of evidence, psychology and the courtroom, crime prevention and the effects of imprisonment?

Psychological themes through core studies:

  • Cognitive psychology: attention – visual inattention and auditory attention.
  • Developmental psychology: moral development – the stages of moral development and evaluating lying and truth-telling.
  • Social psychology: responses to people in need – the factors affecting the likelihood of helping a person in need and cross-cultural altruism.
  • Biological psychology: brain plasticity – the impact of early visual experience and the adaptable brains of taxi drivers.
  • Individual differences: understanding disorders – IQ testing and the language of psychopaths.

Entry requirements

You will need to have achieved at least a grade B in English language and a grade C or higher in GCSE mathematics. You will also need to be able to learn and memorise terminologies, analyse and evaluate scenarios as well as apply the knowledge gained to various aspects of life.


The assessment for the A Level consists of three two-hour examinations.

Financial information

ATTENTION: Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.  

Future opportunities

Psychology sits very well with other A Level subjects and is widely welcomed by universities because the analytical and interpretive skills you learn are so useful for studying almost any subject. You could also opt to pursue the subject further and ultimately forge a career in a psychology-related setting.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hethersett Old Hall School directly.

Last updated date: 06 October 2016
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Key information


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    • Welcome to Hethersett Old Hall School Sixth Form, the part of the school that prepares girls aged 16-18 for their public examinations at  A Level and their future lives at university and beyond.

      The Sixth Form represents an important period of transition: from a broad GCSE curriculum to the narrower A Level one, from school to university and from childhood to adulthood. Our aim is to make these transitions as smooth as possible by equipping girls with the relevant study and life skills to navigate through the changes they will face in a rapidly-changing society.

      In academic terms, our small, single-sex classes play a huge part in this. The staff-pupil relationship is enhanced by a university-style tutor-student relationship and rapport is noticeably strong as a result. Your daughter will be challenged to excel and able to progress at a pace that suits her natural learning style.

      At the start of Year 13, the UCAS university application process begins in earnest. Sixth Form tutors are knowledgeable and experienced in the university application process and will explore career options with your daughter on a one to one basis. Tutors’ detailed knowledge of their tutees means that girls receive meaningful advice on developing a strong personal statement for UCAS applications. Former pupils have been offered places on a diverse range of courses at top universities including medicine at Oxford and scholarships to the London School of Fashion; the main benefit, however, is that every sixth former will be guided in choosing the right courses for her interests and ability.

      In preparation for university and adulthood, your daughter will be able to enjoy a greater sense of independence and responsibility afforded in part by separate Sixth Form facilities. These include a spacious common room and kitchen, a study room, careers library and separate boarding areas. Sixth formers are expected to lead by example and play a role in wider school life, be that mentoring younger pupils or organising charity and house events. In return, our Sixth Form enrichment programme enables them to experience activities ranging from very practical car mechanics workshops to more creative synchronised swimming sessions in the school pool!

      Pupils in our sixth form grow in confidence and maturity over the two years; they leave us with life-long friends and all the necessary qualifications and skills to succeed in life. The happy faces on results day speak volumes about the quality of the sixth form experience at our school.