'The brain is wider than the sky.' Emily Dickinson



Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, which uses research-based evidence to explain our thoughts, emotions and behaviour. At all levels, students need to develop science skills in order to understand the methodology and analysis of data.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Psychology is offered as a three-year GCSE beginning in year 9. The GCSE specification is currently being changed. It is expected that the course will culminate in two exams in the summer of year 11, and that the papers will not necessarily be equally weighted. There will be no coursework.

In year 9, students learn what Psychology is and how to design, conduct, analyse and evaluate psychological research. Students will also conduct their own mini-investigations.

The content of years 10 and 11 depends on the new specifications. However, it is expected that students may learn topics such as:

  • Development – how did you develop?
  • Memory – how does your memory work?
  • Psychological problems – how would psychological problems affect you?
  • The brain and neuropsychology – how does your brain affect you?
  • Social influence – how do others affect you?
  • Criminal psychology – why do people become criminals?
  • Sleep and dreaming – why do you need to sleep and dream?

Key Stage 5

Unit 1: Introductory Topics
Unit 2: Psychology in Context
Unit 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

Within ‘A’ Level Psychology, students will learn how to describe, apply, analyse and evaluate psychological theories, processes and research. In Unit 1, the topics of Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology are studied. In Unit 2, students gain an appreciation of Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, how Psychology research is conducted and how results are analysed. In Unit 3, students will study Issues and Debates within Psychology and then three topics from a range of options including: Relationships, Gender, Cognition and Development, Schizophrenia, Eating Behaviour, Stress, Aggression, Forensic Psychology and Addiction.