Psychology is a social science. It tries to explain individual human behaviour from both biological (scientific) and social points of view. Students are invited to study different key approaches such as Behaviourism, Social Learning Theory, The Cognitive Approach, The Biological Approach and The Psychodynamic Approach. As it is a science, students will expect to study biological processes that affect the brain and its development as well as illnesses and medical/psychological treatments. This is a theoretical essay-based subject that involves looking at key studies/experiments. There are some mathematical skills required and there is a significant focus on science (biology) knowledge also. 

At Weavers Academy, we offer GCSE Psychology (OCR) and A Level Psychology (AQA). 

GCSE Psychology (OCR)

What does the course involve? 

There are 7 key topics; 

Criminal Psychology; defining and measuring crime, biological and social explanations, punishment, 2 key studies 

Development; life stages, functions of the brain, measuring intelligence, social explanations, changing role of education, 2 key studies 

Research Methods; types of method, design, hypotheses, variables, sampling, data, statistics 

Memory; models of memory, types of memory, brain structure, types of forgetting, reconstructive memory, recall techniques, 1 key study 

Sleep and Dreaming; functions of sleep, the sleep cycle, theories of dreaming, sleep disorders, neurology of sleep, insomnia treatments, 2 key studies 

Social Influence; situational factors affecting conformity and obedience (culture, authority, crowds), dispositional (personality) factors (self esteem, morality, brain processes) , changing attitudes to mental health, stigma and discrimination, 2 key studies 

Psychological Problems; defining and measuring mental health, incidence and significance, changing attitudes, biological and psychological explanations of schizophrenia and depression, biological and psychological tests of and treatments for schizophrenia and depression 

How will the skills that I develop help me in my future career? 

Psychology is a social science that will help you into a multitude of different professions. These range from the Criminal Justice System, Science-based jobs, Media and Journalism to Advertising, Teaching and Management. Psychology is good for any profession that requires you to think analytically, from different points of view and where you work directly with people. 

How will I be assessed? 

There are 2 exams taken in summer at the end of year 11; 

Paper 1; Studies and Applications in Psychology 1 (Development, Psychological Problems, Criminal Psychology, Research Methods) (1hr 30 minutes) – Small mark to long essay questions 

Paper 2; Studies and Applications in Psychology 2 (Memory, Sleep and Dreaming, Social Influence, Research Methods) (1hr 30 minutes) – Small mark to long essay questions 

Curriculum Map

A Level Psychology (AQA)

Exam Board: AQA  

Entry Requirements: grade 6 or above in Maths, Science and English 

Why study Psychology?  

Why do some people obey and others rebel? Why do you find it easy to recall memories but others find it difficult? How do you detect the pathologies of the mind? How important is science in studying the mind? How does your childhood affect your adult life? 

If you’ve ever spent time thinking about these puzzles, psychology may be for you, psychologists could hold the answers…and if they don’t yet, you can be sure they are looking for them.  

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human behaviour. Psychologists observe and conduct experiments to find out more about the way people act and interact. They try to understand what motivates, challenges or changes us and use this understanding to help us tackle personal and social problems.  

If you study psychology, you’ll be able to become autonomous in your learning, hone your analysis and evaluation skills and not only learn about scientific research methods but apply them, including collecting and working with data. You will be able to demonstrate your mathematical and scientific skills and use them to explain ideas and data. 

Beware, it will require a lot of essay and scientific/mathematical work from you, but it will be mightily rewarding!  

What does the course involve and how will I be assessed? 

Curriculum Map

Where will Psychology lead me post Sixth Form? 

Psychology is useful for a range of Social Sciences, Criminology, Police, Army, Arts and Healthcare related degrees including: Childhood Studies, Media Studies, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Sports Science, Psychology, Sociology, Speech Therapy and Social Work.  

For more information, please contact Miss Pickering (Head of Social Science) on: