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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School


Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. If you are fascinated by people, and the way the mind works, this course will inspire you to question everything you experience. Psychology may satisfy your scientific and enquiring mind, leading you to apply your knowledge outside the classroom, in real life situations. In addition to learning about a wide range of engaging subjects, you will also develop your analytical, evaluative and independent research skills. 

This course will assist you in understanding people’s behaviour; which means that what you learn will be useful in any profession. Due to the analytical skills developed throughout this course it is held in high esteem by universities. Careers that are particularly linked to the study of psychology are: counselling, forensic psychology, teaching, nursing, childcare and social work.  

There is a biological module within this course, and your GCSE maths skills will also be required throughout each exam paper.

Further information regarding the specification may be found at:

Year 12 Curriculum

Exam Board: AQA  (7182) 

 A–level subject content:

  • · Introductory topics in psychology.
  • · Psychology in context.
  • · Issues and options in psychology. 

A-level: Three exam papers, two hours per paper.

Maximum mark for each exam is 96 marks. 

Compulsory content:

  • Social influence: includes topics such as obedience and conformity. It also considers how individuals can resist and unjust order and how a minority can bring about social change.
  • Memory: explains the difference between different types of memory, including short term and long term. It also looks at whether or not eye witness testimonies should be considered accurate.
  • Attachment: explores how the first three years of an infant’s life may influence the formation of later relationships, and whether or not children who are raised in institutions can overcome the negative mental effects.
  • Psychopathology: questions definitions of abnormality, and considers how depression, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorders can be diagnosed and treated.
  • Approaches: compares and contrasts the different approaches in psychology, including the transition from a basic philosophical approach to a scientific approach that helps explain behaviour and mental illness.
  • Biopsychology: considers how injury to the brain may influence changes in behaviour, and how important the role of neurons and neurotransmitters are in everyday life.
  • Research methods: underpins all psychological research.  Types of studies are compared and evaluated in terms of validity and reliability. 
  • Issues and debates: enables students to improve their evaluative skills by considering, for example, the extent to which nature and nurture contribute towards an individual’s behaviour.

Year 13 Curriculum

Building on the knowledge and skills developed during Year 12, Year 13 will also include teaching and assessment on one topic from each of the following options:

Option 1

  • Relationships, Gender, Cognition and Development.

Option 2

  • Schizophrenia, Eating Behaviour, Stress.

 Option 3

  • Aggression, Forensic Psychology, Addiction.

Extra-curricular Activities

There are enrichment opportunities to join societies related to psychology or well-being, such as mindfulness and stress management.

P MOORE, Teacher in Charge of Psychology