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Psychology A Level at Monkwearmouth Sixth Form College

Course description

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. Psychologists try to understand what motivates, challenges or changes people and then use this understanding to help personal and social problems. Whilst completing your A Level you will investigate classic psychological studies, contemporary and traditional theories and learn about research methods used within the field. The area of psychology is complex, interesting and sometimes absurd! You will consider a range of explanations for abnormal human behaviour and controversial issues; analysing many possible underlying causes of what makes us behave the way we do.

Psychology is a combination of science and practice. Psychologists are interested in how people act, react and interact as individuals and in groups.

Course content

Course Component



Component 1: Psychology Past to Present

The purpose of this component is to give a solid grounding in some of the basic core aspects of psychology. The intention therefore is to allow the learner, through the study of classic research, to gain an appreciation that psychology continues to develop and evolve. The early ideas should not be dismissed but rather studied in context with consideration of the advances made in more recent years. Learners will be asked to explore contemporary debates using their knowledge and understanding of the five approaches; through these approaches learners will also gain an appreciation of the fields of social and developmental psychology.


Biological, psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive and positive.

Component 2: Investigating Behaviour

The purpose of this component is for learners to acquire the skills of working scientifically. The central aspect for this component is that of psychological research, from the initial planning stages through to analysing and evaluating. It is designed to introduce learners to the methodologies used by psychologists and to gain an appreciation of the impact of choices made on the outcomes of the research. To ensure true appreciation of the principles of psychological investigation the learners are expected to gain first-hand experience of two research methods.

Deciding on a research question, methodologies, location of research, participants, experimental design, levels of measurement, graphs, statistics, reliability, validity and ethics.

Component 3: Implications in the Real World

Having learnt about the various psychological approaches in Component 1, learners are expected to apply this knowledge and understanding to THREE behaviours. Learners should be able to explain and draw conclusions about the possible causes of these behaviours and understand that psychology has the potential to impact on society as a whole by developing methods of modifying behaviour. In addition, learners should explore five controversies that continue to pose challenges for psychology. These controversies can be considered synoptically and draw on the content from the whole of the specification.


  1. Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  2. Criminal behaviours
  3. Addictive behaviours



Cultural bias, ethical costs, non-human animals, scientific status and sexism.

It is the Eduqas Psychology A Level specification.

Entry requirements

In order to be considered for this course, you must have 5 GCSE’s which are grade A* - C or grade 5 and above. A grade 6 or above in GCSE English or English Literature and GCSE maths would be desirable.


The course is 100% exam based; assessed by three exams at the end of Year 13. Each exam is worth 33.33% and lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Future opportunities

Students who study psychology at A Level may decide to continue their studies at Higher Education level by completing a psychology degree. It can be directly related to many occupations such as; sports psychologist, counselling, educational psychologist, teacher, forensic psychology, occupational therapy and clinical psychologist.

Psychology can also be useful in a variety of other career choices due to the skills you will develop during your A Level. These may include; advertising, prison offer, nursing, police force, teaching, social work, mental health worker, marketing, business development, accountancy, human resources or careers advisor.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Monkwearmouth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 21 February 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September