Broughton Hall Catholic High School - Curriculum / Psychology


Psychology The study of Psychology at Key Stage 5 allows students to consider the reasons behind human behaviour using scientific principles. As Psychology is a subject new to students at Key Stage 5, this course is a unique opportunity for them to use skills they learned in GCSE Science, Maths and English to understand a wide variety of individual and group behaviour they observe in everyday life.

Psychology explores the very foundations of who we are. It investigates the motivations behind our behaviour, considers what shapes our personality, and seeks to understand both how we see ourselves and how we interact with others. Psychology also aims to challenge people's perceptions of mental illness, crowd behaviour, child rearing, memory, violence, and even love. By viewing the actions of human beings scientifically, students gain a better understanding of and therefore empathy for those around them.

Within this course, students strengthen their transferable skills of analytical thinking, improved communication, and problem solving. They also focus on research skills such as developing and carrying out practical, ethical and valid research in socially sensitive areas such as psychological disorders, aggression, and brain trauma. The maths component of the course gives students the opportunity to use statistics, graphs, and algebra as part of critical analysis of behaviour.

A Level Psychology is now accepted as the 3rd science for many medical degree courses; students who take A Level Psychology also go onto a variety of careers from different fields of psychology (i.e. clinical) to nursing, teaching, marketing, business, accountancy, and the police. An in-depth understanding of their own motivations and drives allows students to be more self-reflective as they progress into further education, training and careers.

The Course

Over two years, students study 3 different units, each consisting of a 3-4 specific topics related to behaviour. These units include introductory topics to psychology, psychology within a scientific context, issues and key debates within psychology, and advanced options topics.

Paper 1 - Introductory Topics in Psychology (Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology) Year 1
Paper 2 - Psychology in Context (Biological Psychology, Psychological Approaches, Research Methods) Year 1 & Year 2
Paper 3 - Issues and Options in Psychology (Schizophrenia, Relationships, Aggression or Forensic Psychology, and Issues & Debates in Psychology) Year 2

Students are taught 5 lessons per week over the course of the two years. They will take all examination papers at the end of Year 2, with each paper lasting 2 hours.

Extra-curricular Activities

Subject staff endeavour to connect students to the subject through educational visits when possible as well as guest speakers from universities, clinics, exam boards, and the British Psychological Society. In Psychology, students are given opportunities to use their skills of research and designing studies both in the classroom and in other real life settings. Students are provided with a wider reading list of books, journals, articles and websites at the beginning of Year 1 and this is regularly referred to throughout the course. An informal Psychology Film Club is also being established.

Here, staff and students recommend, watch and discuss psychology-related documentaries, films, television programmes, TED Talks, and other media. The Extended Project Qualification is also being developed. This offers students who wish to challenge themselves and opportunity to develop, research and carry out a psychology unique investigation of their choosing whilst achieving the equivalent of half an A Level.

More information about our department

Student feedback for Psychology is very positive. Students have reported feeling satisfied with the level of support they are being given, are happy with the teaching, and are confident that the staff are working well to help them achieve. Staff connect with other teachers of psychology across the city and country via regular meetings, trainings, and quality assurance This allows specialists to share good practice and develop a wide variety of psychological experiences for students to plug into.

Staff work with students to create a welcoming and calm atmosphere where students feel they can achieve. At all levels, learning is individualised to meet the needs of each student. Students are monitored closely on every topic and given consistent feedback as to their progress. We want to share with students the enthusiasm we have for this subject, giving them the opportunity to be fascinated by behaviour they observe all around them.

Contact Information

For more information please contact Mrs Wilkinson on 0151 541 9440.

Programme of Study KS5

Key Information

Level: LEVEL 3
Examination Board: AQA
Subject Leader: Mrs Wilkinson

Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in at least 5 separate subjects

Why Choose this course?

Psychology is a popular subject which is attractive to students because it develops a range of valuable skills, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research skills. These skills are particularly relevant to young people and are transferable to further study and the workplace.

The two year course provides an engaging and stimulating introduction to the study of psychology.Psychology is a Science and students are reminded that they will need to develop a wide range of subject specific terminology, use the scientific method in designing studies and in evaluating Psychological research, you will also learn to be able to carry out statistical analysis of data.


Psychology allows you to gain a qualification that Higher Education and employers value. If you are looking to go onto study at degree level you can take a British Psychological Psychology approved degree.

This could lead into a specialist professional qualification as a Clinical, Forensic, educational or organisational psychologist. Psychology provides insight into learning, education, business and advertising and is welcomed for those who want to pursue careers in health and/or social care and the police force.

Course Content

Year 12
Introductory topics
Social Influence

Psychology in context
Approaches to psychology
Research Methods

Year 13
Issues and Options in Psychology
Approaches including:
Psychodynamic and Humanistic
Additional research methods
Issues and Debates in Psychology
Final assessment:
3 Papers (2x hours each)
Total 96 marks each paper.