Subject Overview

Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behaviour. Psychologists attempt to answer questions such as: Why do people act in a certain way when in groups? Why are some people more obedient to authority figures than others? What makes an individual ‘male’ or ‘female’; what is the difference between sex and gender? What are the best techniques for remembering? How can you apply these to revision techniques?

In order to answer such questions, psychologists are always conducting research. You will be given the opportunity to conduct many research studies where you will develop your skills in terms of writing hypotheses, creating field/lab studies and evaluating your studies (looking at the advantages and disadvantages of your research).

Some of the topics that you will cover include: sex and gender, research methods, individual differences, social psychology, memory, and attachment.

We use lots of teaching methods to enable each student to achieve the highest level possible. These methods include teacher talk, some note-taking, lots of debate, discussion, argument, role-play, analysing television programmes and newspaper articles, group work, pair work, individual work, and presentations. You will be encouraged to be proactive and to take responsibility for your own learning by doing independent research using the Internet, books and sociological magazines.

Course Content

Unit 1: Criminal Psychology, Development, Psychological problems, Research Methods
Unit 2: Social Influence, Memory, Sleep and Dreaming, Research Methods

Exams and Assessment

Unit Topic Marks % Duration
Unit 1 Studies and Applications in Psychology 1

(written paper)

50% 1½ hours
Unit 2 Studies and Applications in Psychology 2

(written paper)

50% 1½ hours

There are no coursework requirements for GCSE Psychology.

Why Choose Psychology?

The GCSE Psychology course takes you to that most fascinating of places – the human mind. The study of Psychology, of the ways we think and feel, can give you an insight into behaviour and help you to develop skills that will be useful in fields as diverse as personnel management, communications, health care and education. The insights you gain through Psychology study will be relevant, no matter what you do, and the Psychology GCSE course is brought to life in an interesting and entertaining manner, looking at questions like why you like one person and not another, whether you can improve your memory, and how you can overcome a fear of spiders!

Psychology complements Sociology, English, History, Maths, Biology, and Philosophy.

Many people go on to study Psychology at degree level and some choose to specify in one aspect of Psychology; for example, Clinical, Health, Forensic or Education.