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Psychology AS and A Level at Portsmouth College

Course description

Many of us are interested in people and the reasons behind their behaviour.  Psychology offers an academic approach to this, looking at the research work of many different psychologists and offering you the chance to conduct some experiments of your own.

Course content

Psychology is the study of behaviour.  It is useful for understanding why people act as they do and for predicting how people might act in a particular situation.

In year 1 you will study social and biological influences on behaviour and also theories on how people learn. You will research topics such as obedience, memory, aggression and explanations of phobias. You will also gain an understanding of the different methods used to investigate human behaviour.  (This first year A level content also makes up the whole of the AS level.)

In the second year we focus on applications of Psychology, and in particular the fields of Clinical Psychology and Criminal Psychology.  You will explore questions like: What makes someone turn to crime?  How do juries make decisions?  What is abnormal behaviour?  What are the causes of schizophrenia?  There will also be opportunities to design and evaluate your own research and you will also analyse some of the bigger themes in Psychology, like the nature versus nuture debate.

Entry requirements

You would normally be expected to have at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C (including English Language), some at grade B or above. Level 2 BTEC or OCR National qualifications (at Merit grade or higher) would be a useful addition but cannot be used instead of the basic GCSE requirement.


Both the A level and the stand-alone AS are assessed through examinations, there is no coursework.

Future opportunities

You will be able to visit the law courts to explore courtroom psychology.  There will also be guest speakers and a trip to Marwell Zoo to study animal psychology.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 July 2016
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