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Welcome to Psychology at St. Aloysius' College

St Aloysius recognises the scientific status of Psychology and we offer it as an additional option in KS4. The course offers many opportunities for the students to develop an understanding of research and its significance within Psychology. The course provides a good core knowledge base for those thinking of taking the subject as an A level, as it requires students to know and understand the work of prominent psychologists.

Psychology  is now a recognised science subject and therefore has become a very popular subject to take at GCSE and A Level.

GCSE Course content

The full GCSE is split into two units that are studied over the two KS4 years.

Two additional units on The Self and Criminal Behaviour (which are not assessed at GCSE level), provide students with a good basis of knowledge at the beginning of Year Nine. The students begin the actual course in the spring term.

Unit 1 is called ‘Making sense of other people’.

This unit is split into 5 chapters. We will cover:


Non-verbal communication

Development of personality

Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination.

Research methods.

This unit will provide students with answers that have intrigued non psychologists for years. For example:

1. Why do I forget things?

2. How can I read body language?

3. How can I tell if someone likes me?

4. What causes Antisocial Personality Disorder?

5. What causes prejudice in the world?

Unit 2 is called ‘Understanding other people’.

This unit is also split into 5 chapters. We will cover:


Social influence

Sex and Gender


Further research methods

This second half of the full GCSE course will help students to find answers to other fascinating questions. For example:

1. How can I overcome a phobia?

2. How can I give up a bad habit?

3. Why are bystanders reluctant to help in emergencies?

4. What causes people to be aggressive?

In both Unit 1 and Unit 2, the students will learn about research methods used by psychologists to discover answers to these questions and many more.


Each unit of work will be assessed by a 90 minute question paper, covering each of the 5 chapters studied over the two years. There is an assessment at the end of Year Ten, covering Unit 1 and then a second at the end of Year Eleven, covering Unit 2.

A Level Course content:

A new specification has been introduced at KS5 this year, and brings with it some exciting new topics of study. The Psychology A Level is now a linear course and therefore all exams will be taken at the end of Year 13.

The course units are split into three exams which assess knowledge in the following areas:

Paper 1:

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology
  • Paper 2:

  • Approaches in psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods
  • Paper3:

  • Issues and debates in psychology
  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression/Forensic psychology


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