GCSE Psychology


KS4 overview.

Pupils investigate a range of psychological themes including:

  • Memory (how does our brain remember information?  Why do we forget?  How accurate are eye-witness testimonies?)
  • Non-Verbal Communication (how important is our body language?  Can we tell if others are lying?  What factors affect personal space?)
  • Personality (are we born with our personality or is it learnt?  What is my personality type?  What causes anti-social personality disorders?)
  • Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination (why do humans stereotype others?  How do people develop prejudice views?  How can we reduce prejudice?)
  • Learning (how can you train an animal?  What causes phobias?  How can we get rid of our phobias?)
  • Social Influence (why do humans obey and conform?  How are humans influenced by others around them?  Why are humans prone to bystander behaviour?)
  • Sex and Gender (what is the difference between sex and gender?  How can gender be explained? )
  • Aggression (what causes aggression in humans and animals?  How can we reduce aggressive behaviour?)

These themes are examined by two formal examinations at the end of Year 11.  Pupils will also explore the research methods within psychological study including experimental design, sampling methods, standardised procedures, ethical concerns, the use of psychological data, correlations, natural observation techniques and surveying methods (including interviews and questionnaires).  These research methods will be examined throughout both exam papers and together make up 25% of the total mark.

Pupils who opt for Psychology as an option will study the below:

GCSE Psychology (Full Course) – AQA Specification A

Unit 1: Making Sense of Other People

Unit 2: Understanding Other People

Details of any relevant websites and revision guides to support the qualification.



Revision Textbook

Thomas, N. ‘AQA Psychology: GCSE’

How will the KS4 qualification prepare my child for life in modern Britain?

Psychology is all about the study of humans and their behaviour, hence can help prepare pupils for life in modern Britain in the following ways:

  • Appreciation for those suffering with an array of mental and cognitive deficits
  • Awareness of how our own behaviour can be perceived by others
  • Exploration for the ways we can reduce prejudice in British society
  • Improve our memory and cognitive skills, and pass on this knowledge to others
  • Awareness of the problems of stereotyping others
  • Ensure secure knowledge on how psychological research in Britain must follow the ethical guidelines outlined in the British Psychology Society
  • Awareness of how we are influenced by others in Britain
  • Awareness of the cultural differences implied from psychological research in a range of areas, including body language and social influence
  • Exploration of the complexity of gender development in modern Britain
  • Exploration for the ways we can reduce aggressive behaviour in British society
  • Awareness of how we can ensure the ethical usage of data obtained by psychological studies comparing to that obtained in the British Census
  • Appreciation of the importance of positive role models to the younger generation in Britain from studies on Social Learning Theory
  • Awareness on the innate nature of temperament when dealing with others around us
  • Exploration of treatments used to cure phobias and addictions
  • Exploration of the concepts of obedience and conformity in British society
  • Appreciation of studies into bystander

Information about extra-curricular sessions and extended learning opportunities available to my child.

In recent years, Psychology pupils at Coseley have taken part in a focus day at Chester Zoo, looking at “Studies on Animal Behaviour”.

What Post-16 opportunities or potential pathways could this qualification unlock for my child?

GCSE Psychology help sets up pupils for further academic study in an array of subjects, most notably those in social sciences.  Psychology can help demonstrate many skills including those of enquiry based learning, critiquing skills, evaluative skills, empathy, cultural awareness and individual difference.  Psychology provides a ladder to Advanced Level subjects such as:

  • Biology / Biological Sciences
  • Citizenship
  • Community and Culture
  • Critical Thinking
  • Drama & Theatre Arts
  • Forensic Science
  • Gender Studies
  • General Studies
  • Law
  • Neurology
  • Philosophy
  • Public Services
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology / Social Work
  • Theology

Jobs directly related to psychology include:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Further and Higher education lecturer
  • Occupational psychologist
  • Sport and exercise psychologist
  • Careers adviser
  • Counsellor
  • Human resources officer
  • Psychotherapist
  • Retail manager

Does my child need any specialist equipment for this subject?

Pupils will require a standard calculator.

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