PsychologyIntroduction by Mr Pablo Hernandez, Assistant to Senior Teacher (Curriculum)

Psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours. In this A Level Psychology course you will gain fascinating insights into the human mind and what makes people tick. This course is now classed as a science as opposed to one of the humanities. Psychology courses are increasingly popular both because of their intrinsic appeal and their value as a step on the way not just to careers in psychology, but careers in the health professions and any other employment sector that relies on people skills and communication.

This A Level Psychology course covers a broad range of subjects, including cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences and research methods. You will gain an understanding of why people develop differently and of the causes of conditions such as schizophrenia and eating disorders. As you study the A Level Psychology course, you will gain an understanding of the main issues that arise from various psychological methods, and look at the ways in which psychology can be applied.

You will learn to conduct effective research and how to interpret the results, how to use statistics effectively and deal with ethical issues. As you discover how others think, you will also be gaining an insight into your own psyche and behavioural traits, which is a valuable asset in both your personal and working life.

We asked several students what they would remember in 5 years time, and if there were any tips they could give for new students.

These were their responses...

What Will You Remember in 5 Years Time?

"I’ll always remember studying stress in psychology as I was able to relate to this topic. I tend to stress out a lot, so being able to learn about the topic, how it affects the mind and body and the different methods of managing this stress has greatly benefited me. I also found it extremely interesting to learn about the various personality types and how stress affects each one individually in various ways. So thanks to this topic I am now aware about what goes on when you undergo loads of stress, I can identify my personality type and I am also able to apply the methods I have learned to cope with my own stress in real life."
Amy Gaetto


"Abnormality has always been an interest of mine, although, before doing the psychology course, I didn’t know that it was actually called that.

Many of us know, or know of someone who is suffering from mental illness, to be able to understand what may have caused the illness is very insightful, and it’s good to know that, at times, you can help should the individual ask for it.

I think it’ll be easy for me to remember this particular area of psychology as someone close to me was going through depression at the time and coming to terms with it. They would tell me about the therapies they were going through, for example, drug therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. Knowing how these two therapies worked allowed me to be there for this individual and understand their struggles.

I knew I wanted to do something to help people later on in life, and learning about psychopathology has opened up a new way to do so. I know now that I want to make a career out of this and feel quite relieved in this choice."


"I will remember sections of attachment such as the different studies of privation.

It was disturbing to watch the video of the life of a girl called Genie and hear about how she grew up alone in a room with no attachment figures and how this had scarred her for life. She never fully learned how to talk, and she was unable to walk or chew food when she was first discovered. The children in a Romanian orphanage had never formed attachments with a primary caregiver and had to live in the most awful living conditions that you can imagine.  In fact, when they were adopted, they often formed disinhibited attachments, which is a kind of attachment that is formed where the child displays attachment behaviour to strangers and seeks the help of strangers. This is because the only people who paid particular attention to them in the orphanages were strangers.

This was a very sad topic and it was especially disturbing to think that this sort of life was normal for these children, and they didn’t know any life other than this. However, it made me appreciate the life that I have and how much I have to be thankful for. Studying this topic helped to open my eyes and make me more aware about many things and I’m sure everyone will find that they are not just studying for a test, but are learning a much deeper lesson."
Stella Sacarello

Tips for Students from students:

"If you are interested in people, how they work, and what makes them tick then I would definitely recommend that you consider studying the subject as you would enjoy it a lot. However, Psychology does have a great deal of workload and it is not a subject where you can be a slacker. Yet, if you have a good work ethic, a broad interest base, and are interested in learning about other people, then I would definitely recommend taking up the subject for AS level."


"Make sure to study throughout the year as there is a lot of information to learn and take in.

Take time to learn each study as it will be important for a particular type of question."
Amy Gaetto


"Make notes on what you learnt that day; this helps you out when you’re making the final notes before the exam.

Do the homework, I found that the information I had used before on homework questions ended up being a lot easier to remember.

Use the internet for further research."
Ashley Pratts


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