Curriculum Intent

Psychology is a synoptic subject. The students are therefore expected to be able to link, compare and contrast different theoretical positions and findings from research, in order to offer effective and credible analysis of a particular issue. These are higher order skills which entails students having a sufficient grasp of the content, and being able to demonstrate their ability to understand and use key terms and concepts.

The psychology content is devised in such a way so that introductory topics that utilise different psychological perspectives are delivered first. These ideas are then developed further by exploring key topics that are based on these approaches. The use of research is used to substantiate or refute a particular position and there is an expectation that students will grow in their ability to do this.

Our popular Psychology Department offers students an amazing opportunity to examine the causes of some human behaviour. Topics studied on the course includes social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology. These introductory topics are examined alongside relevant issues such as, relationships, schizophrenia and aggression. It is the passionate aim of the department to teach students to become educated critical thinkers, who are able to evaluate the claims made all around them, about the reasons for both normal and abnormal behaviour.

By becoming aware of the influences on their own actions, students become better able to resist negative pressures and consequently are more able to make choices that lead to the development of their potential. A healthy number of our students enjoy the subject so much they go on to study it at university.


  • Specialist teaching classrooms
  • A wide range of reading material
  • Past issues of Psychology Review
  • Copies of British Psychological Journal
  • Research articles

A level Psychology

Course details

Students will study the following content:

  • Introductory Topics in Psychology – Social influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology (Paper 1)
  • Psychology in context – Approaches in Psychology, Biopsychology, Research methods (Paper 2)
  • Issues and Options in Psychology – Debates and issues, Cognition and development, Schizophrenia, Forensic Psychology (paper 3)

Over the two years, students will:

  • Develop a strong knowledge and understanding of each topic and also realise how they link to each other.
  • Come to appreciate how important the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods are.
  • See how the sciences contribute to the success of our economy and society.
  • Come to feel able and confident in a range of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills.
  • Hopefully become much more interested in and enthusiastic about psychology, and consider studying it at a higher level, and maybe even working in a related career in the future.
Link to course specification


Exam (2  hrs)

Introductory Topics in Psychology

33.3% of the


Exam (2 hrs)

Psychology in Context

33.3% of the


Exam (2 hrs)

Issue and Options in Psychology

33.3% of the


Enrichment opportunities

The Psychology A level is taught alongside a number of extended learning opportunities. Through the department students will have the chance to subscribe to ‘Psychology Review’, a journal publishing the latest psychological research. Practical research projects will also give students a taste of the work Psychology students and researchers do.

Student quotes

“The teachers in Psychology really give you an insight into what higher education will be like, and if you're thinking of continuing with it to further education you will definitely have a head-start.”

 “I liked how the year was planned out with the trip to the Old Bailey Criminal Court in London. It was a fantastic experience for students to experience a real court case.”


Studying Psychology will appeal to a wide range of students with varied interests and future plans, including both further education and going straight into employment, and students will build on skills necessary in both. Students with a Psychology A level go on to study a range of subjects at a higher level, and psychologists can specialise in business, forensics, sports, advertising, education and counselling.

Useful Links

Silver School Mental Health Award