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Psychology A-Level at St Leonards Catholic School

Course description

It is difficult to give a precise definition of psychology because there are many different types of psychologist and differing views as to what causes behaviour, but as a broad definition psychology is defined as the scientific study of mind and behaviour. This subject concerns itself with developing a critical awareness of the main approaches to the study of behaviour and to communicate scientific ideas and arguments logically and precisely. The course follows the AQA specification B.

Course content

  • Social influence.
  • Memory.
  • Attachment.
  • Psychopathology.
  • Approaches in Psychology.
  • Biopsychology.
  • Research Methods.
These topics investigate the underlying principles of psychology and examine ideas and concepts such as:
  • The basic assumptions of the main psychological schools of psychology (biological; behaviourist; social learning theory; cognitive; psychodynamic and humanistic). Understanding of the structure and function of the neurons and synaptic transmission. Localisation of function in the brain and the genetic basis of behaviour. This section gives students the basic knowledge in the understanding of human behaviour.
  • The nature of the scientific enquiry in psychology.
  • What factors effect whether people conform and obey.
  • How do we remember and why do we forget?
  • The accuracy of eye witness testimony.
  • The nature of caregiver-infant interactions.
  • Definitions of abnormality.
  • Explanations and treatment of phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression.
  • Student’s knowledge of research methods and mathematical skills will be assessed throughout the course.
  • Issues and Debates
  • Gender
  • Eating Behaviour
  • Forensic Psychology.
These topics develop understanding of concepts, theories, studies research methods and ethical issues in Psychology such as:
  • Gender and culture, free-will and determinism, nature and nurture, holism and reductionism
  • Biological and psychological explanations of gender development.
  • Explanations for food preferences.
  • Explanations for offending behaviour and treatment for offenders.


Entry requirements

  • each applicant must achieve at least eight GCSE or equivalent Level 2 Qualification passes at grade A*-G
  • each applicant must achieve at least five GCSE passes1 at grade A*-C
  • each applicant must achieve at least four GCSE B grades including at least a grade B2 in each subject to be taken at AS Level (see course entry requirements listed in section 6 of this admissions policy).
  • any applicant wishing to study a science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) at AS Level must achieve at least a grade B in GCSE Additional Science if taking double science rather than separate sciences. If taking separate sciences then the applicant must achieve at least a grade B in the science subject to be taken at AS Level.
  • any applicant wishing to study a subject at AS that they are not currently studying at GCSE must consult the list of entry requirements listed in section 6 of this admissions policy.
  • any applicant currently studying a subject at GCSE that they wish to continue to study at AS must achieve at least a grade B in that subject at GCSE.
  • each applicant must study a minimum of four AS Level courses to completion in Year 12 and a minimum of three A2 Level courses to completion in Year 13.
  • each applicant must study the General Religious Education Course to completion

Future opportunities

Students of Psychology have a wide range of occupations open to them. It is an important academic subject. If you are planning a career in psychology it is likely that you will be required to undertake postgraduate study - please speak to the department if you require any further advice.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Leonards Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 22 April 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years