Department | Psychology2021-01-19T10:05:30+00:00

Department | Psychology



Mr. A. Aitken
Head of Department

Subject Information

Psychology is the study of human behaviour and the aim of this introductory GCSE course is to give pupils an insight into aspects of why people behave the way they do in different situations. The course deals with the behaviour of the individual and then examines how their thoughts and actions can be influenced by association with other people. It is a broad ranging course that covers many aspects of psychology taught through significant and ground breaking research. In addition, it deals with topics that are current and relevant.

This engaging and effective qualification introduces pupils to the fundamentals of psychology, developing critical analysis, independent thinking and research skills. It requires – and develops – good communication skills as the ability to explain clearly, difficult concepts and ideas, is both necessary and improved upon. As Psychology is classed as a science the research methodology covered in the programme supports the practical elements of any science based course. In summary, pupils engaging in the course should be inquisitive, good communicators and wish to deepen their understanding of how humans behave and how this can be influenced by nature and nurture. Furthermore, due to the course content there are strong links to biology.

In Year 11 there are four modules to study, 3 of which relate to the individual: memory (how do we retain information in our brain), perception (how we make sense of the world around us: reality) and development (particularly in childhood to adolescence). The fourth topic deals with research methods, which is effectively the scientific method and the approach it adopts to investigations.

Year 12 covers topics that deal with individual, but also how behaviour has a social dimension. In social influence the effects of groups and crowds is investigated. Language, thought and communication looks at the various forms of nonverbal communication and parallels this with animal behaviour. Psychological problems examines the latest information on depression and addiction and introduces the effective use of cognitive behaviour therapy. The final unit is heavily biased towards biology as it delves into neuroscience and

The examination board is AQA. The GCSE is a two-year linear course with two examinations at the end of Year 12: one Year 11 and one Year 12 paper. The papers are equally weighted.


There are numerous careers that are available once a person has a degree in psychology. They are too numerous to list here; therefore, follow the hyperlink to a useful page highlighting the options and explanations on each.

The most prominent careers would be working as an Educational Psychologist, a Research Psychologist, a Forensic Psychologist, Occupational Psychologist or in counselling and careers advice. That said, the qualification is a useful passport to a wide range of jobs and professions.

  • Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook CEO)

  • Jessica Ennis-Hill (Olympic Gold medal athlete)

  • Gloria Estefan (Singer)

  • Natalie Portman (actor)

  • Lil Wayne (Rapper)

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