A Level Psychology

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. As psychologists, we seek to understand the ways in which people act, and interact, through the use of the scientific method. Understanding the motivations and reasons behind human behaviour can not only aid treatment and therapy, for mental health and neurodegenerative diseases, but can help us to understand and offer solutions to individual and social dilemmas such as the holocaust, racism, aggression, mental health, crime and more.

What does the course cover?

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Psychology is structured into nine topic areas. Topics 1 to 4; Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology and Learning Theories, are compulsory and focus on the areas that have laid the foundations of modern psychological understanding. These four approaches offer different explanations for human behaviour, from group identity to positive reinforcement and the structures of the human brain and nervous system. These will be covered in Year 12.

Topics 5–8 focus on how our understanding of psychology is applied today. Topic 5; Clinical Psychology is compulsory. Students apply their Year 12 understanding to mental health understanding, diagnosis, causes and treatment, focusing primarily upon schizophrenia and depression. One topic from 6, 7 or 8 must be studied. At New Hall, we opt for Criminological Psychology due to popular student demand. Both Clinical and Criminological Psychology are studied in Year 13.

Finally, Topic 9 summarises the psychological skills and research methods covered in the qualification. These will be covered across year 12 and 13. This qualification consists of three externally examined papers and students complete all external assessments in May/June in any single year.


What students say

The lessons are informative and interactive. We are provided with lots of in-depth and extra information regarding the specification.” –   Year 12 student

The lessons are always engaging and well explained. The packs are well structured and include everything we need to know.”  – Year 12 student

I always have a good understanding of what is going on in the lessons and I know that if I struggle with understanding anything, I can always go to Mrs Milan-Vega and ask for help if I need it.” –  Year 13 student

Lessons are always fun and engaging.” – Year 13 student

Trips, Outings and Extension Opportunities

Each year, we aim to attend academic lectures in London, run by experts in the field. So far, we have witnessed presentations by: Phillip Zimbardo, famous professor of the Stamford Prison Experiment; Elizabeth Loftus, renowned researcher in false memory and the inaccuracy of eye witness testimony; David Wilson, world-renowned criminologist, and many more.

Within school we regularly run extension opportunities such as the Glial Cells in Medicine Conference, and offer both Psychology Society and Neuroscience Club (upon Mrs Milan-Vega’s return). Furthermore, we are keen supporters of Mental Health Awareness Week and regularly contribute assemblies on topics such as the Bystander Effect.


Hands on Experience

As part of the Biological Psychology element of the A Level Psychology course, Mrs Milan-Vega’s classes dissected the brains of sheep in order to identify important structures that are found in both human and sheep brains. This enabled them to better visualise the parts of the brain that are discussed in the key research they use in their essays. Students enjoyed the hands-on experience of putting on their aprons and goggles, and identifying structures such as the two hemispheres, cerebellum and corpus callosum. With neuroscience becoming such a fast-developing field in Psychology, such an experience proved invaluable for those looking to pursue careers in Psychology, Neuroscience and Medicine.



 In 2022, our students proudly achieved 24% A* grades, 58% A* to A and 84% A* to B.


Head of Department (maternity leave): Mrs Milan-Vega [email protected]

Acting Head of Department (maternity cover): Miss Roberts [email protected]

Instagram: @psychology_newhall

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