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Psychology GCE AS/A Level at Richmond-upon-Thames College

Course description

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and the way that individuals behave. Examples of the kind of things psychologists are interested in are memory loss, gender identity, criminal profiling, addiction and the experience mental health issues like depression, phobias, schizophrenia and OCD. Psychologists try to understand and explain human behaviour objectively but the extent to which humans can be treated scientifically is a source of great debate amongst those studying human behaviour.

Through studying Psychology we will be attempting to answer questions such as: Why do we conform to the majority? Why do we obey authority figures? How important are our experiences in childhood for our adult development? Can we trust our own memory? What influences us most: nature or nurture?


Psychologists use many different methods of enquiry, including experiments, observations, questionnaires and case studies. During your studies you will have the opportunity to design and conduct your own investigation using one of these methods.

Course content

You will study a variety of areas within the subject including social influence, mental health, how individuals develop from birth and the way that biological factors can influence behaviour. There will also be a lot of emphasis on understanding how understanding psychologists conduct their work - carrying out investigations through experiments, observation and questionnaires and then how they work out the significance of their findings.


The topics you will cover if you do the AS level only are:

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Approaches in psychology
  • Psychopathy
  • Research methods

If you choose to do the full A level you will study all of the above plus -

  • Biopsychology
  • Issues and debates in psychology
  • Gender
  • Schizophrenia
  • Forensic psychology

Psychology lessons involve a wide variety of activities including class discussion, small group work, reading, videos and short lectures from the teacher.

Entry requirements

You will need an average GCSE points score of 5.75 including GCSE English at grade 5 and Maths at grade 6 and Science at grade B is also preferred.


The 1 year AS course consists of 2 exams at the end of the year, each worth 50% of your final grade.


The 2 year A Level course consists of 3 exams taken at the end of the second year, each worth 33.3% of your final grade

Financial information

You will need to pay for one textbook, approximately £25 for each year and revision conferences and trips as required.

Future opportunities

A Degree in Psychology can either be used for entry to a Psychology degree or as a contributory AS/A Level for a variety of other degrees. People with a psychology qualification work in a wide variety of fields including counselling, nursing, teaching and sports as well as occupational, clinical or educational psychology.

Further information

To find out more about this course please visit our website or contact us on or 020 8607 8302

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Richmond-upon-Thames College directly.

Last updated date: 18 October 2017
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