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Psychology A Level at Thomas Gainsborough School

Course description

Psychology has been defined as the science of mind and behaviour. Essentially, psychology is all about people.  We are all amateur psychologists, every time we try and work out why someone acted the way they did or try to predict how someone might behave or react.  Psychology tries to find answers to some of these questions by investigating them in a more scientific manner.If you would like to understand both yourself and others better, psychology is the subject for you.

Psychology can lead to specific careers in Industrial, Clinical, Educational or Forensic Psychology, counselling and therapy, but it is also a useful qualification to have if you are thinking of any career that involves dealing with people (almost everything!). An understanding of psychological procedures and principles would also be useful in careers such as teaching, health service related occupations, law (including police) and social work.

Course content

Paper 1: Memory, Attachment & Social Influence, Psychopathology: 

You will learn how yours and other peoples’ memory works, as well as how different cognitive psychologists analyse memory. You will also study attachment in which you will look at how the attachments you make throughout your life are formed. In addition, you will examine the more social aspects of psychology and look at how and why different psychological perspectives account for and suggest treating abnormal behaviour. You will then look at various ways in which people conform to social pressures.

Paper 2: Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods:

In this unit you will learn about the approaches to psychology including Cognitive, Biological, Psychodynamic and Behaviourist. You will also learn how stress affects each of us in different ways. In addition to this, you also cover psychology research methods.

Paper 3: Cognition and Development, Schizophrenia, Aggression & Issues and Debates in Psychology:

Throughout this unit of the course you will examine different psychological explanations of the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia as well as the psychology of relationships and aggression. You will also look in detail at the issues of gender bias/cultural bias, the debates of nature versus nurture, free will versus determinism, and reductionism versus holism.

Entry requirements

Students should have achieved 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 including a Grade 5 or above in English and Maths and Science


There are 3 exams, 1 per unit each worth 96 marks, 33.3% of the final A level grade. Each exam will include multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. All exams will be taken in June of your second year: June 2019.

Future opportunities

Psychology is a discipline widely studied at University and post graduate level. After completing a Psychology degree, you can go on to careers in fields such as teaching, criminology, the police and armed forces as well as the medical profession or clinical/occupational psychology.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 13 November 2017
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