Psychology A Level


Why choose Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind. It offers a unique educational experience that develops a distinctive and broad set of skills. It’s located in scientific method and allows scope for extensive evaluation from a range of perspectives.

Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide-ranging set of key skills, including being able to communicate effectively using appropriate language, to interpret and critically assess scientific data, and to research and critically evaluate a range of sources.  The specifications also encourage the development of strong literacy and numeracy skills. The acquisition of such a diverse range of skills will be of great benefit in further education, in the workplace and society in general.

The study of psychology enables students to:

  • gain hands on experience of different research methodologies encouraging active learning
  • explore applications of psychology and gain an insight into how psychological theory can be applied to real world situations
  • appreciate how psychological knowledge and understanding develops over time
  • develop the ability to communicate effectively using appropriate language and becoming psychologically literate


The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Psychology is structured into nine topic areas. Topics 1 – 4 are compulsory and focus on the areas that have laid the foundations of modern psychological understanding. Topics 5 – 8 focus on how our understanding of psychology is applied today. Topic 5 is compulsory. One topic from 6, 7 or 8 must be studied. Finally, Topic 9 summarises the psychological skills and research methods covered in the qualification.

  • Topic 1: Social psychology
  • Topic 2: Cognitive psychology
  • Topic 3: Biological psychology
  • Topic 4: Learning theories
  • Topic 5: Clinical psychology

Optional topics (students must study one)

  • Topic 6: Criminological psychology
  • Topic 7: Child psychology
  • Topic 8: Health psychology
  • Topic 9: Psychological skills:
    • Methods
    • Synoptic review of studies
    • Issues and debates.

How will it be delivered?

This qualification consists of three externally examined papers.

Students must complete all assessment in May/June in any single year.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English Language, Maths and grade 4 in Science.

Students must select a specialism (Computing, Health Sciences or Sport Science) alongside this course.