Psychology is offered at Hayes School for Key Stage Five students. The AS is offered as a stand-alone option for year 12 students at the end of the first year. The A-level is offered for those who continue with Psychology in year 13.

Entry Requirements

Grade 5 or above in English and Maths and ideally a BB in Double Science or a B in Biology.

Why study Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychologists develop explanations and theories to help them to predict people’s behaviour in different situations. These theories or explanations are tested by psychologists using research studies. You will learn to develop a keen grasp for the scientific nature of psychological research, including how it should be conducted, analysed and reported.
Studying psychology will help you to develop a better understanding of why people think and behave as they do; from understanding the everyday choices that they make to analysing truly disturbing criminal acts of aggression. You will begin to appreciate some of the difficulties with being able to identify and treat abnormal behaviour covering a range of mental health problems, from phobias to depression.

Summary of Curriculum

AS course (year 12)

You will sit 2 exams at the end of the AS year, both of which will be 1.30 hours and will each count towards 50% of the AS. This is a stand-alone qualification. The exams will be written with a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions, up to 12 mark answers.
At AS, candidates develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of psychology. Through a range of topics, chosen for their accessibility and popularity: Introductory topics in psychology: In this module, we look at three areas of psychology: Social influence, Memory and Attachment. Psychology in context: In this module, we look at three areas of psychology: Approaches in psychology, Psychopathology and Research Methods.

The A’ Level course (year 12 & 13):

For the full A Level in psychology, sat at the end of year 13, students will sit 3 exams, each for 2 hours and each worth 33.3% of the final grade. These will be written exams with a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions

At A’ level, the specification offers a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different psychological approaches and engage students in issues and debates in psychology.

Paper 1. Introductory topics in psychology: Students will be assessed on Social influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology.

Paper 2. Psychology in context: Students will be assessed on Approaches in psychology, Biopsychology and Research methods.

Paper 3. Issues and options in psychology: In this paper you will be assessed on issues and Debates in psychology and optional content, you will study in depth one option from these three areas: Currently we teach Relationships, Eating Behaviour and Forensic Psychology as the options at Hayes School.

Typical Development – Relationships / gender / cognitive development.
Atypical development – Schizophrenia / eating behaviour / stress.
Anti-social behaviour – Aggression / forensic psychology / addiction.

Introduction to Department Staff

Psychology is taught by subject specialists Miss Smith and Mr Aiashi.

Miss Smith, who graduated with a BSc Psychology degree from the University of Plymouth. She joined Hayes in 2006 and is Head of Psychology. She also works as a Lead Teacher to develop teaching and learning within Hayes and is an Accredited Coach and a Specialist Leader in Education.

Aims of the course

This course is designed to:


Psychology is most useful in careers that deal with people (e.g. general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, nurse, lawyer, manager, teacher, etc.). Psychologists work in a variety of work areas such as health care, education, forensics and businesses.

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