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Psychology A level at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

Course description

Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour. When you study Psychology A level you will learn about a range of biological and psychological explanations of human behaviour. You will also study a number of topics that allow you to explore the various approaches in an applied context. There is a strong scientific basis to Psychology A level and therefore you will need to be quite good at Biology. From a psychological perspective, human behaviour is often explained through the interaction of biological factors such as genetics and neurochemical functions in the brain and environmental influences, some of which cannot be controlled through free will.


The compulsory topics you will study are:

-        The origins of Psychology and the major approaches (learning, cognitive, biological, psychodynamic and humanistic)

-        Memory

-        Social Influence (conformity and obedience)

-        Infant Attachment (bonding)

-        The major issues and debates in psychology such as the nature of free will and gender and culture issues

-        Psychopathology (abnormality)

-        Biopsychology (a biological topic covering the nervous system, hormones and the structure and function of the brain.)

-        You will also study a range of research methods that are used to investigate human behaviour and the mind.

You will be expected to be quite good at Maths, as a large part of the course involves generating and interpreting data; you will also be expected to perform some mathematical calculations. There are also three other topics that you will study as options, which will be chosen nearer the time, but may include:

-        Schizophrenia

-        Aggression

-        Relationships

Entry requirements

2 Grade Cs in Core, Additional or Further Additional Science (or Grade C in Biology)


A level assessment is linear. There are three examinations which are taken at the end of two years of study and they will include both short and longer types of question. Your understanding of research methods will be assessed in the examination using scenario based questions and other research methods questions embedded in questions about the topics.


Written Paper 1

Introductory Topics in Psychology (2 hours) 33.3% marks at A Level

Written Paper 2:

Psychology in Context (2 hours) 33.3% marks at A Level

Written Paper 3:

Issues and Options in Psychology (2 hours) 33.3% marks at A Level


AS Level

The Department also offers Psychology AS level which is taken after one year of study. It covers some of the above content with a reduced amount of Research Methods.


Written Paper 1

Introductory Topics in Psychology (1 hour 30 mins.) 50% marks at AS Level

Written Paper 2:

Psychology in Context (1 hour 30 mins.) 50% marks at AS Level


Note: AS Level is a stand-alone qualification which does not count towards the overall A Level grade.

Further information

Psychology A level prepares students for undertaking Psychology at degree level and many students choose to do so. Psychology is also considered a relevant and sometimes recommended subject for a large number of careers, including medicine, teaching, nursing, and social work.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Clitheroe Royal Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 08 October 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years