Psychology (OCR)

Psychology is the scientific and social study of human behaviour. The aim is to help us answer the questions – ‘What causes our individual behaviours?’ and ‘How does this behaviour impact society?’

Throughout the course, you will explore behaviour through the lens of significant historical and contemporary psychological case studies across the following core areas of psychology:

  • Social psychology
  • Biological psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Individual Differences
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Child psychology

You will also have the opportunity to plan and conduct your own small scale research projects in your exploration of how psychological investigations are conducted. Due to the discipline’s scientific nature, there will also be the need to engage mathematical skills when analysing the significance of data from research. The subject is challenging and will require you to use a variety of skills to engage successfully.

Course Content & Assessment

The course is divided into 3 key areas, each with a written examination.

Research methods (H567-01)

90 marks
2 hour written examination (30%)

You will be planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques. This will give students the opportunity to learn how to apply psychology research in action.

Psychological themes through Core Studies (H567-02)

150 marks
2 hour written examination (35%)

Students build knowledge and understanding of 20 psychology studies, demonstrating evaluation skills and an appreciation of wider psychological approaches/perspectives, theories, issues and debates.

Students make comparisons and distinctions between Core studies (a classical study and a contemporary one) and examine the broader context of general debates within psychology. Students will also be assessed on the practical applications of psychology.
Students will review psychology of the everyday (in newspapers, magazines, TV programmes etc. ) and apply key theories from a novel source.

Applied psychology (H567-03)

105 marks
2 hour written examination (35%)

Students will cover one compulsory unit (Issues in Mental Health) and 2 further subjects (Criminal Psychology and Child Psychology).

Issues covered will include; the historical context of diagnosis, what makes us mad? And characteristics of mental health disorders such as Schizophrenia and Phobias.

Furthermore, students will review the key debates in psychology such as the effect of nature v nurture, do humans truly have free will or is our behaviour determined by other forces?


There are 3 examinations at A level. There is an expectation that students will pre-prepare for lessons with students required to work more independently, with guidance being given by teachers about what should be covered in addition to lesson content to consolidate learning. For example, students will be expected to read full articles of the studies covered (located on MS Teams) rather than simply rely on text book summaries.

Your Future

Studying psychology enables students to think critically, analyse and evaluate.

The course will therefore provide an excellent grounding in preparation for higher education and an awareness of how to apply psychology to everyday life. As such an A level in psychology provides an excellent background for careers in the legal profession, police force, medicine, teaching, management, advertising and marketing.

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