Vocational qualification

In Darlington

Price on request


  • Typology

    Vocational qualification

  • Location


  • Duration

    2 Years


Teaching methods are varied and include teacher led discussion, individual tasks, group work, activities and question practice.




Darlington (Durham)
See map
Vane Terrace, DL3 7AU


On request

To take into account

Students should meet the general college entry requirements for A Level study. Please refer to the current Prospectus - advanced programmes, entry requirements. It is preferred that students have a grade C in GCSE Maths and English. The course contains an element of Maths in order to understand research findings and when analysing data for the coursework component. Students also need good...

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Course programme


GCE Advanced Level AS/A2

Course Content


Unit 1

Approaches in Psychology
Four major psychological approaches form the basis of this unit: the biological approach, the Psychodynamic approach, the Behaviourist approach and the Cognitive approach.
Questions are mini essay type questions and require students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the assumptions of each approach and how each approach has been applied to a theory and a therapy.

Unit 2

Core studies and Applied Research Methods in Psychology
The core theme for this unit is psychological research. The unit is made up of two parts: Ten core studies and Research Methods.
The ten core studies are drawn from the main areas of Psychology and reflect the diversity of psychological enquiry.
Candidates will be expected to assess critically each of the core studies in terms of its methodology and alternative research findings. Candidates will also be expected to apply their knowledge of Research Methods to Stimulus Material.
Examination assessment is in the form of essays and short-answer questions.


Unit 3

Research Methods and Issues in Research
This unit develops the candidates knowledge, application and evaluation of research methods acquired in Module Two.
Ethical issues in research investigations, reliability and validity of findings and the use of Statistical Tests will be considered.
Research Methods will be assessed by short answer questions based on stimulus material provided.
Issues in Research will be assessed by essay questions - issues will include
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the scientific method
  • Ethical issues in the use of human participants
  • Ethical issues in the use of non-human participants

Unit 4

Psychology: Controversies, Topics and Applications
Candidates will develop a synoptic understanding by consolidating knowledge drawn from earlier study and applying it to wider controversies and issues in Psychology.

Section A: Controversies
Candidates will analyse and interpret evidence on issues such as
  • Psychology as a Science
  • The Balance of Scientific benefits versus ethical costs of Psychological Investigation
  • The Balance of genetic and environmental influences on behaviour
  • Issues of gender and cultural bias
  • The question of free will versus determinism in explaining human behaviour

Section B: Topics
Topics covered will include
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Levels of consciousness e.g. Theories of sleep and theories of hypnosis

Section C: Applications
The application considered will be Abnormal Psychology including
  • Explanations of Schizophrenia
  • Treatments for Schizophrenia
  • Explanations of Unipolar Depression
  • Treatments for Unipolar Depression

Assessment requires candidates to write four essays.

How it is Taught
Teaching methods are varied and include teacher led discussion, individual tasks, group work, activities and question practice.

Examination Details

Unit :Duration :% of Marks

1 : 1 hour 15 mins : 40% of the AS course
Written paper

2 : 1 hour 45 mins : 60% of the AS course
Written paper

3 : 1 hour 30 mins : 40% of the A2 course

4 : 2 hours 30 mins : 60% of the A2 course

Useful/Common Subject Combinations
Psychology combines well with most other subjects. It is a science subject which combines well with Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. It is accepted by some medical courses as a third science A Level. However, it also combines well with Humanities subjects as it appeals to students who are interested in people and their behaviour. Popular combinations are with Sociology, History, English, Philosophy, Geography and Business Studies.

Careers and HE Information
An A Level in Psychology is a well-respected qualification as students acquire both literacy and numeracy skills. These flexible skills are useful in a range of career choices.

A Psychology degree is the required foundation for further study leading to careers in Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology and Occupational Psychology. However, Psychology graduates often pursue careers in personnel work, the Health Service, social work, advertising, counselling and the prison service. Combination degrees can also lead to a wide range of careers.

Other Relevant Information
Psychology is a challenging and stimulating course which is very rewarding for students prepared to work hard.


Price on request