Accessibility links

Psychology AS/A2 Level at Heathfield Community College

Course description

Psychology is a fascinating science concerned with the study of the human mind and behaviour. The A level course content provides students with the opportunity to study a wide range of psychological approaches to explaining behaviour including, biological, cognitive, psychodynamic and social approaches. The course also includes the opportunity to consider the explanations of specific behaviours, such as aggression and psychopathologies including depression and OCD. Throughout the course a strong focus on developing an understanding of the nature of science and conducting psychological research is maintained. Studying Psychology will enable you to answer questions such as: What are the psychological responses to stress? Why is eyewitness testimony often wrong? What is depression? Why can jealousy cause aggression?

Course content

Year 1

Unit 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

In this unit students will be introduced to cognitive, developmental and social approaches within psychology. Understanding of these approaches will be gained through studying memory, attachment and social influence.

Assessment Information

Examination worth 50% of the AS level

Unit 2:Psychology in Context

This unit gives further consideration to the approaches in psychology, including learning, cognitive, biological and biopsychological. Students will also focus on the nature of scientific study and develop their understanding of how to conduct research using a variety of research methods. In addition, the explanations for a treatments of phobias, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder are examined.

Assessment Information

Examination worth 50% of the AS level

Year 2

Unit 3: Introductory Topics in Psychology

This unit covers the content from year one, including memory, attachment, social influence and psychopathology.

Assessment Information

Examination worth 33.3% of the A Level

Unit 4: Psychology in Context

This unit covers the approaches, biopsychology and research methods content from year one in additional detail.

Assessment Information

Examination worth 33.3% of the A Level

Unit 5: Issues and Options in Psychology

This unit is explored in the teaching during the second year of the A level. It covers issues and debates in psychology, including free will versus determinism, nature versus nurture and ethical issues in psychological research. A detailed analysis of aggression, gender and stress is also conducted.

Assessment Information

Examination worth 33.3% of the A Level

Entry requirements

A* - B in GCSE English Language and a Science

GCSE Psychology is not a requirement


See Course Content for full assessment information.



Future opportunities

Psychology has a broad range of real world applications in everyday life, ranging from stress, health, mental illness, artificial intelligence and human-machine interaction, to personal development, social interaction and the environment, to name but a few. Psychology also offers good career prospects. There are a large number of careers available in psychology such as Educational Psychologist, Criminal Psychologist or Health Psychologist and many psychology students will go on to pursue other career paths, in which the skills and knowledge they have gained will be readily transferable.

Further information

Psychology requires diverse skills and has links with a variety of disciplines such as the biological, computer and forensic sciences, as well as with the humanities such as history, sociology and philosophy. Psychology combines particularly well with Sociology, History, Politics, Philosophy and Ethics, Law and English courses. The research methods content facilitates a good combination with the Sciences and Mathematics.

Student Views

“Psychology is the most interesting subject. It has such a broad range of topics and they are taught in a way that means you enjoy learning.” Lilith Epstein.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Heathfield Community College directly.

Last updated date: 06 January 2016
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year AS Level / 2 years A2 Level
  • Course code: AQA 7181 / 7182
  • Number of planned places: 20

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Helen Holmes, 6th Form Pastoral Manager
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 01435 866066 ext 1227
    • Email address: