Psychology is a science that aims to explain behaviour and increase our understanding of why we act and react as we do.

Over the 2 year course, pupils are introduced to several approaches including Social and Biological. Year 2 builds on these underlying theories whilst introducing other debates and issues such as Nature/Nurture, Cultural Differences and Social Control. New topics include Criminology and Child Development. There is an overarching theme of Research Methods where pupils are encouraged to take part in and develop their own experiments and investigations. These will include laboratory and field experiments, observations, surveys and content analysis.Investigations follow a hypothesis and lead on to statistical analysis so they are a good grounding for any research taken on at undergraduate level.

The course prepares for living in a multi-cultural society, increasing awareness of their own actions or inaction. Group dynamics and conformity are examined helping students to make informed decisions, stimulating debate and fostering an understanding and empathy of others. It is an evolving subject which combines traditional theories with new discoveries in neuro-science and epigenetics, closely linking with the medical professions as well as teaching, business and sport.

Facilities Available

  • Experimental resources for carrying out practical research
  • Light box – for investigating the effect of light on SAD and mood disorders
  • Galvanometer – for measuring skin reaction in response to stress
  • Distortion goggles – for investigating response time whilst simulating the effect of drug or alcohol use

Examination boards

  • Edexcel

Co-Curricular Activities

  • Monkey World – links to infant development and deprivation; classical and operant conditioning; ethical issues; extrapolation of data gathered from animals and applied to humans. 
  • Erlestoke Prison – visit to a category C prison for age appropriate pupils.
  • Courtyard Nursery – visit to a day-care provider to conduct structured observation.
  • Staff visits – from those with young children and new pets, to explore attachment types.