Psychology Intent and Implementation 

Why study Psychology?

This subject provides students with an opportunity to study, question and challenge the world around them. Psychology students will become motivated and inquisitive to learn about the key issues and debates within the study of human behaviour. Psychology will enable students to develop a greater sense of tolerance and understanding surrounding ethical issues and social sensitivity to help develop their cultural awareness. This will provide them will the skills and foundations for future trajectories, with many students aiming for university courses. Students will become experts in critical analysis of research and theories and will be able to make synoptic links throughout the curriculum. Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of Approaches and Research Methods in Year 12 which will be a core theme running throughout the curriculum. This will lead to deep knowledge and understanding of Psychology as a discipline by the end of Year 13. Psychology will provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge of theory and research to real life scenarios, such as the treatment of Schizophrenia, and evaluate the use of such theory and research. Students will develop a sophisticated writing style and be able to articulate a clear line of argument as the basis for a solid discussion. They will develop confidence in debating and discussing issues, which will make them feel more prepared, autonomous and equipped for their future lives.

We aim to develop students who can:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical issues
  • have an understanding of the issue and debates within the field of psychology research
  • conduct psychological research/practical investigations and interpret results to make a significance decision.
  • apply psychological knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts
  • analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods
  • evaluate therapies and treatments including in terms of their appropriateness and effectiveness.
  • have an awareness of race, gender, sexuality and other forms of discrimination and how this can obstruct objectivity in psychological research.
  • Understand that psychology is a science and have an awareness of the empirical methods used in research.

Psychology is an extremely broad subject with a wide variety of areas and approaches to understanding. The topics we study are exciting and engaging but also are very applicable to everyday life. A range of topic areas are covered from social influence and attachment through to forensic psychology, schizophrenia and relationships. Studying A level psychology will teach students a range of transferable skills such as, critical analysis and evaluation which will be useful across the board in other subjects as well as in further study. Potential careers involving Psychology include Clinical Psychology, Forensic Science, Marketing and Media to name but a few.


Students follow the AQA Psychology A Level syllabus.

Links to GCSE

It is not necessary for students to have studied GCSE Psychology but it is essential for them to have a good command of English and Mathematics. They require a 6 in Maths GCSE. All modules are assessed through examinations. To this end being able to learn to write essays, having some mathematical ability and being able to think scientifically will help.


University days (psychology lectures)

Potential opportunities to shadow educational psychologists (work experience)

Educational psychology day

Year 12:
Memory, Psychopathology, Approaches Social Influence, Attachment, Research Methods
Year 13:
Approaches, Research Methods, Biopsychology, Relationships, Schizophrenia, Forensics, Issues and Debates

Description of modules: Memory,(short term memory, long term memory, eyewitness testimony) Psychopathology (mental illness generally, causes and treatments), Developmental Psychology (e.g. Attachments why they are formed how this affects us), Social Psychology (conformity and minority influence- why do we fold to peer pressure), Research Methods (it’s how we establish our theories!) Approaches (the different ways to understand behaviour, including biopsychology the science of the brain), Relationships (why we are attracted to certain people), Schizophrenia(understanding the metal illness and treatments), Forensic psychology (understanding criminal psychology) and  Issues and Debates (within the field of psychology).

Skills to be developed:

  • Have an interest in people and how they live their lives.
  • Be able to analyse and synthesise information.
  • Be prepared to work hard and think independently

Year 12 & 13 Curriculum Map

Year 12 & 13 Progression Models