Type: A Level
Entry Requirements: Two Bs and three Cs in five subject areas at GCSE to include a minimum of a grade 4 in Maths and English Language. However, due to the new GCSE grading, we do recommend that you are working towards at least a grade 5 in both Maths and English Language. Students must also have a grade C or above in Science.
Start Date: Sept 2017
Length: 2 years
Course Overview

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Over the course of the programme, you will cover a broad range of topics, which include looking at research into the areas of Social Psychology – obedience and helping behaviour; Cognitive Psychology – memory and attention; Developmental Psychology – external influences on childrens’ behaviour and moral development; Biological Psychology – regions of the brain and brain plasticity; Individual Differences – understanding disorders and measuring differences between individuals.

Additional topics that you study include, Issues in Mental Health, Criminal Psychology and Child Psychology.

In addition to covering these areas of psychology, you will learn a variety of skills, which will allow you to critically analyse research, develop improvements to research and plan and design your own practical investigations. Psychology uses the scientific method of experimentation and statistical analysis and requires students to learn to be numerate, to use logical reasoning and to express themselves clearly and concisely in writing.


What will I learn?

The course will include 3 units:

Research methods
Research methods underpin everything that is done in Psychology. Conducting research allows us to test theories in a scientific manner and draw sound conclusions. You will be required to show your understanding of research methods by designing and conducting your own pieces of research on topic areas of your choice. You will also study statistics and use this knowledge to analyse your results and make inferences about causes of behaviour.

Approach and debates in Psychology
Within the discipline of Psychology there are many different viewpoints over exactly what influences behaviour. You will study many approaches in Psychology including physiological, cognitive, behavioural, psychodynamic and social. You will use these approaches to explain a vast array of behaviour including memory, attachment, psychopathology, social influence, obedience, cognitive development. You will also consider many important debates in Psychology such as: Psychology as a science; the nature vs nurture debate; the determinism vs freewill debate; and situational vs dispositional explanations for behaviour.

Applied Psychology
You will study in depth some of these applied areas: Criminal Psychology, Child Psychology and Clinical Psychology. This unit allows you to address many intriguing questions such as: how can we use Psychology to reduce crime and have a safer society, what leads people to suffer from clinical illness and at what point does sane becomes insane, how can psychology inform health professionals, thinking about how we can get people to listen to important health messages.

How will the course be assessed?

You will be assessed by three external written examinations at the end of the two-year course.

Each exam is 2 hours and accounts for a third of your final grade.


You will be offered a range of enrichment activities if you choose to study Psychology at A Level; these trips require a small financial contribution.

Progression and Careers

Former students have gone on to study at some of the UK’s top universities, including Lancaster University, Loughborough University, Bangor University, Newcastle University, The University of Manchester, the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham.

They are reading an array of interesting and challenging degree programmes including Psychology, Sociology, Law, Criminology, Social Policy, Education Studies, Criminological and Forensic Psychology and Sport and Exercise Psychology.


Ready to apply?

Apply online or download an application form to become part of Nelson and Colne College.

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