Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College
An Outstanding Catholic School




Welcome to the Psychology Department





Many students have little knowledge of what the study of Psychology actually involves.  They often imagine it will enable them to know what others are thinking or ‘read’ other people minds.  This is definitely not the case!


Psychology has been defined as the science of mind and behaviour.  Essentially, psychology is all about people.  We are all amateur psychologists, every time we try and work out why someone acted the way they did or try to predict how someone might behave or react.  Psychology tries to find answers to some of these questions by investigating them in a more scientific manner.


If you would like to understand both yourself and others better, psychology is the subject for you.

In fact, Psychology has close links with Science subjects and uses empirical research to make inferences and draw conclusions about the reasons behind aspects of human behaviour.  This research is ongoing – what we know about human behaviour is constantly being evaluated and challenged so there are no simple answers or facts in Psychology.


There are various career paths you could follow with an A level in Psychology. You will have gained a wide range of transferable skills from the course applicable to many university courses. The course allows you to develop critical thinking skills, which are important for a number of careers. The course also involves you making ethical decisions with regards to psychological studies, which are beneficial to courses such as Medicine. As you have to carry out scientific pieces of research the skills gained here are advantageous for any Science course. Psychology can lead to specific careers in Industrial, Clinical, Educational or Forensic Psychology, counselling and therapy, but it is also a useful qualification to have if you are thinking of any career that involves dealing with people (almost everything!).  An understanding of psychological procedures and principles would also be useful in careers such as teaching, health service related occupations, law (including police) and social work.

 Possible career options Studying psychology at university can give you a whole host of exciting career options, including: • Marketing • Business development • Accountancy • Human resources • Forensic psychology • Occupational therapy • Clinical psychology • Nursing • Teaching.

Please note that this is a new A level specification for 2015 and therefore is a two year linear course with terminal examination.


The course specification taught is AQA


Students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of psychology through a range of topics.



Make sure you have a realistic and accurate picture of what this subject entails.  It is not an easy option and involves a great deal of reading difficult texts and producing evaluative written work.  You must be prepared to deal with unfamiliar language and complex ideas and theories.  We expect you to make a real contribution in lessons, asking and answering questions and participating in class discussion.




There is a great deal to learn during your two years of studying A level Psychology.  You also need to be able to evaluate theories and research as well as describing them.  The course includes the following:


Paper 1

Social Influence

2 hour terminal examination




Paper 2

Approaches in Psychology

2 hour terminal examination


Research Methods

Paper 3

Issues and Debates in Psychology

Option 1: - Relationships or Gender or Cognition and development

2 hour terminal examination

Option 2: - Schizophrenia or Eating Behaviours or Stress

Option 3: - Aggression or Forensic Psychology or Addiction


You will also be expected to apply your psychological knowledge to various topic areas which we will choose as a class for Paper 3.


Essays make up a large part of the A level exam and we focus on developing your skills in extended writing and effective evaluation.


How will my work be assessed?


This will be through internal mock exams at the end of your first year followed by official external exams at the end of year 2.


At A-level there are three exams, each account for one third of your A-level. The three exams last 2 hours and are worth 96 marks each. The exams consist of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.




Students must have a minimum of grades BCC from Mathematics, English Language and a Science. (The B being specifically in Maths).