A Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Description

Many of us are interested in people and the reasons behind their behaviours. Psychology offers an academic approach to this, looking at the research of psychologists and offering the chance to conduct your own studies. It is an ideal subject if you are considering a career in counselling, education, healthcare or business.

Grade 5 or above in GCSE Maths and grade 4 or above in GCSE Science.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

In year one, you will study social, cognitive, learning and biological explanations of behaviour, such as obedience, memory, aggression and phobias. You will gain an understanding of the methods used to investigate human behaviour. In year two, you will apply the foundations from year one to the topics of mental health and addiction. Questions explored include: What is abnormal behaviour? What are the causes of schizophrenia? What are the most effective treatments for addiction? You will analyse the bigger themes in psychology, such as the nature versus nurture debate, and have opportunities to design and evaluate your own research.

Psychology gives you the opportunity to develop a range of skills which are both subject-specific and transferable. Some of the main transferable skills are: strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to understand complex, abstract ideas and apply these to situations, research and analytical skills, and the ability to use evidence and logic to construct an effective argument.

100% Exam

The College’s E6 Programme will support your current and future aspirations. We suggest some volunteering or a work experience placement is a positive addition to your CV. You can also polish your personal statement for your Higher Education application. You could also undertake an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) which allows you to pursue your own research topic. Take the opportunity to make yourself stand out!

Psychology students are found in a variety of occupations and common careers are ones that tend to centre around people. This may be within the education sector as teachers or educational psychologists, in the social sector as social workers, therapists or clinical psychologists, or in the criminal sector as forensic psychologists within the police force.

In addition to regular assessments, you will sit mock exams within the summer term in your first year. In your second year, you will sit mock exams within the spring term. You will then sit three final exams in the summer term.