Psychology is a science (health): the study of human and animal behaviour. If you are interested in finding out more about why people behave in the ways that they do, then psychology may be for you. Psychologists use experimentation and observation to find out how humans and animals behave. There are many influences on humans and animals, in the form of genetics, environmental, and biological factors, psychologists find it difficult to draw absolute conclusions.


Psychology is not taught at KS3 however transferrable knowledge from maths, art, CR and science will give a good basis to the subject.


Exam board: Edexcel

Course name: GCSE Psychology (2009)

Specification codes: 2PS01

Assessment: exam

Year 10

Unit 1 Perception and Dreaming

  • Topic A –how do we see our world?
  • Topic B – is dreaming meaningful?

Unit 2 social and biological psychological debates

  • Topic C – do TV and video games affect young people’s behaviour?

Year 11

  • Topic D – why do we have phobias?
  • Topic E – are criminals born or made?


Exam board: AQA

Course name: Psychology

Specification code: 7181 718

Assessment: exam

1. Social influence: research into the nature of conformity, obedience to authority and independent behaviour, and the implications of this in everyday life.

2. Memory: we study research into models of memory, eyewitness testimony and ways of improving memory.

3. Attachment: we study theories and research into the development of attachment, including individual and cultural difference and the effects of separation, deprivation and privation, and the effects of day care.

4. Approaches in Psychology: we look at the different prospective in psychology such as the biological, cognitive and psychodynamic approach.

5. Psychopathology: this involves a philosophical look at defining abnormality and the assumptions made by different branches of psychology as to the causes of abnormality and the implications for treatment.

6. Research methods: this includes different experimental and non-experimental research methods and designs together with some basic techniques of data analysis.

A2 Topics

Compulsory content
1. Social influence
2. Memory
3. Attachment
4. Psychopathology
5. Approaches in psychology
6. Biopsychology
7. Research methods
8. Issues and debates in psychology
9. Relationships-this includes formation and breakdown.
10. Stress- how the body responds to stress and how we treat stress.
11. Forensic psychology- problems in defining crime. Ways of measuring crime, including official statistics, victim surveys and offender surveys/offender profiling.

(Topics 9-10 are optional from a selection of topics.)