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Psychology A Level at Lytchett Minster School

Course description

Psychology studies human behaviour and tries to understand why people behave in the way they do. Psychology is made up of a variety of approaches and, during the first year of study, students will have the opportunity to learn about the origins of Psychology as well as the key approaches. In addition, students will explore the early years of development and its effects on the rest of life, how human memory works and eyewitness testimony, the stress that people experience, why humans obey and conform and the mental disorders that people can face.

In the second year, students build upon their knowledge of different approaches and apply them to a range of behaviours. Throughout the course, students learn research method skills that will enable them to carry out their own studies relevant to the material covered.

Course content

The study of human mind and behaviour. The course provides a sound understanding of scientific methods and approaches to explaining human behaviour. It reviews research in many fields and applies ideas and concepts to a range of real-life situations.

In the first year, students will study a range of topics, including the origins and approaches in psychology, social influence, memory, attachment, psychopathology, biopsychology and some of the key issues and debates relevant to the subject.

There will also be an opportunity to learn additional content in topics such as the humanistic and psychodynamic approaches.

In the second year of study, students will examine three areas of behaviour in much more detail. Relationships, forensic psychology, aggression and stress are all under consideration. They will undertake more practical research methods as well as learning in detail how to statistically analyse and critically evaluate results.

Students in the second year of psychology will be given the opportunity to study three of the following areas:

  • relationships
  • gender
  • cognition and development
  • schizophrenia
  • eating behaviour
  • stress
  • aggression
  • forensic psychology
  • or addiction.

Entry requirements

Psychology is one of the most popular subjects at A Level with a very high demand for places. A keen interest in understanding human behaviour, the ability to write essays and a desire to question psychological findings/behaviour. The nature of the course is such that students must have GCSE grade 4 or above in Mathematics and Science and a GCSE grade 4 or above in English. Due to the high demand, grade 5 in all three of these subjects are preferred. Students are encouraged to read widely; the department has an extensive reading and podcast list to help prepare students for the course.


It is important to note that, to achieve a full A Level in Psychology, students will be assessed by three 2 hour examinations at the end of the second year. Each paper will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing requirements. There is no coursework element. For the AS qualification, students will be assessed by two 1½ hour examinations at the end of the course. Each paper will consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing requirements. There is no coursework element.

Future opportunities

There is hardly a walk of life in which Psychology is not useful. The emphasis on understanding human behaviour gives valuable insights for those working with other people. Psychology is particularly valued in health care, personnel, the media, marketing, retail management, educational psychology, social work, probation work, teaching and the police force.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lytchett Minster School directly.

Last updated date: 22 February 2017
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