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The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.



Only the person who has questions can have real understanding. Examples of essential disciplinary questions that are vital to Psychology at Blanchelande are:

Who decides what is ethical?
​Is the brain in the vat hypothesis plausible? To what extent could The Matrix be a reality?
​What is the role of personal responsibility versus external factors in understanding and addressing aggressive behaviour?
​How has our understanding of mental illnesses changed and developed throughout the years?


This engaging qualification introduces students to the fundamentals of psychology, developing critical analysis, independent thinking, and research skills.

In order to help you decide if Psychology is right for you, it is worth having a think about whether the answers to the following questions are of interest:

  • Why do I forget things?
  • How do I know if I can trust the results of an experiment?
  • How do visual illusions work?
  • Why do some children learn faster than others?
  • Why do people obey authority figures?
  • What parts of the brain are responsible for different behaviours/skills?
  • How do we explain and treat addiction?
  • What impact does our non-verbal communication have on how others perceive us?

You will be looking at famous Psychologists such as Milgram and Loftus who have investigated questions like these. As a science, students who wish to study Psychology need to be comfortable with numbers, but also their literature and language skills as the specification does require you to write short essays which evaluate a theory or study you have learnt about.

Student’s study eight topic areas that consider ‘Cognition and Behaviour’ and ‘Social context and Behaviour’. Skills are scientifically and mathematically based.

Paper 1: Cognition and Behaviour (50% of final grade)

Written exam.

  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Development
  • Research Methods

Paper 2: Social Context and Behaviour (50% of final grade)

Written exam.

  • Social Influence
  • Language, Thought and Communication
  • Brain and Neurophysiology
  • Psychological Problems
A failure is not always a mistake, it may be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying
B.F Skinner
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein

A Level

This subject aims to inform, challenge and inspire our students, teaching them about the human mind, behavior and emotions. Much is invested in research methods as it counts for 25-30% of the course content.

Students are encouraged to conduct their own research, where they are taught the importance of the scientific method, while being offered opportunities to make good cross-departmental links with biology, mathematics and philosophy.

Is Psychology the right choice for me?
You should have a genuine curiosity about the way humans think and behave. Psychology is a science and you do need to be comfortable with numbers. The requirement to write essays, in which you present arguments for and against an issue, means that you should also have a good grasp of the English language. A-Level Psychology involves studying a wide range of topics, so there is a lot of information to absorb, and importantly, you will need to learn how to apply this knowledge. The topics Psychologists study are complex, therefore, it is common to find different explanations of psychological phenomena, such as the nature of intelligence. An important skill you will learn is how to evaluate conflicting theories about the topics you cover, and the studies that support, or challenge them.

What will I gain from A-Level Psychology?
A-Level  Psychology will help you to develop a range of transferable skills including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. These skills are beneficial in both the working world and when going onto further study. Studying Psychology at university can give you a whole host of exciting career options including, marketing, human resources, teaching, nursing, forensic psychology and occupational therapy.

Attend Psychology conferences led by famous Psychologists, get involved in debating theories and evidence at Debate Club, voice your opinions in writing on current affairs, get in touch with universities to see if you can be involved in a research project. Get involved in lower seniors Psychology Club. Read about current research in the Psychology Review magazine available in the library.

Paper 1 – Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Written exam (2 hours) 33.3%

Paper 2 – Psychology in Context

  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods

Written exam (2 hours) 33.3% 

Paper 3 – Issues, debates and options

  • Issues and debates in Psychology
  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression

Written exam (2 hours) 33.3%

Recommended online revision resources include Learn Dojo. Ask Miss Page for more information.

Supporting Documents