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Psychology AS & A Level at Presdales School

Course description

The Edexcel psychology specification offers students the opportunity to gain a thorough introduction to the fascinating study of mind and behaviour. Students will study both classical and contemporary research, gaining an appreciation of the scientific research methods used by psychologists and how our understanding of psychology is applied today.

From September 2015 Psychology will be studied as a new style A level. All students will take an AS examination at the end of Year 12 and will then go on to study for the A level in Year 13. The A level will be examined at the end of Year 13.

Course content

AS (Year 1):

The topics at AS level focus on the areas of psychology which have laid the foundations of modern psychological understanding.

  • Paper 1: social and cognitive psychology
  • Paper 2: biological and learning theories

A level (Year 2):

The A level course builds on AS knowledge, incorporating a higher level of understanding of psychological skills and research methods. Students will also apply their psychological understanding to the real world, with a focus on Clinical psychology and one other optional topic area.

  • Paper 1: Foundations in psychology
  • Paper 2: Applications of psychology (Clinical psychology and one optional topic from Criminological psychology, Child psychology and Health psychology)
  • Paper 3: Psychological skills

Entry requirements

Psychology is a Science A level, therefore students are required to have obtained at least a grade B in Science (B grade in Biology and overall B grade in Chemistry and Physics or B grades in both core and additional Science). 10% of psychology examinations will assess mathematical skills of at least higher tier GCSE level plus there are extended response, critical analysis and essay questions. Students are therefore also required to have at least a grade B in both Mathematics and English Language.


External written examinations for both the AS (2 papers) and A level (3 papers) courses.

Future opportunities

A level psychology lays the foundations for further studies in psychology at degree level and beyond. The skills students gain through studying A level psychology are also useful to a range of careers such as teaching, law, police, medicine, health, marketing and business.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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Key information


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    • Presdales is a five-form entry all-ability school which became an Academy on 1st April 2012, for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. Boys are welcomed into the Sixth Form. Founded as Ware Grammar School for Girls in 1906 on the Amwell House site, it moved to its present site at Presdales in 1964. Since 1975 – when the school’s intake was enlarged – we have accepted girls from a wide area of Hertfordshire.

      The school was rated ‘outstanding’ at all four inspections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008. Language College status was granted by the DfES in 1995 and, on the strength of the school’s high performance overall, Music College status with English as an accompanying strand was awarded in 2006, followed by Mathematics & Computing College status with a Gifted & Talented focus in 2008.