Church of England

Tel: 01905 746800


Aims of the course

Studying GCSE Psychology will enable you to engage in the process of psychological enquiry to develop as an effective and independent student and as a critical and reflective thinker with an enquiring mind. This course will enable you to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas: Data, theories, explanations, investigation, enquiry and applications and implications of psychology. GCSE Psychology provides you with a course of learning that is relevant and stimulating. It can also provide you with an opportunity, in the context of real-life issues, to appreciate psy­chological concepts and contexts. You will also understand the methodologies and the basis of how psychology works.

What will I learn?

If you are interested in studying the mind and human behaviour, this is the course for you! The first year of the course is a foundation year to prepare you for GCSE. It covers really interesting topics such as our personality, phobia development and aggression. These topics are not examined but assist in developing psy­chological thinking. Whilst studying GCSE Psychology you will develop an awareness of why psychology matters, acquire knowledge and understanding of how psychology works and its essential role in society. You will develop an understand­ing of the relationship between psychology and social, cultural, scientific and contemporary issues and its impact on everyday life along with an understanding of ethical issues in psychology.

Core areas of psychology studied in Year 9 are: biological, social and cognitive, developmental psychology.

  • In this course there are five compulsory topic areas that all students will have to study. The topics are: Memory, Development, Psychological Problems, Social Influence and The Brain and Neuropsychology. There is a choice of optional topic areas, of which students will have to study two. The two optional topics studied will be: Criminal Psychology and Sleep and Dreaming. The study of research methods must make up 20% of the qualification, of which 10% must be mathematical content.

How will I be assessed?

There are two units and each one is examined by an external examination.

Paper 1 (*Paper code: 1PS0/01) is a written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes  and is 55% of the qualification 98 marks.

These topics are in Section A of the content. This paper may also draw on knowledge and understanding of investigations from Section C.


● Topic 1: Development – How did you develop?

● Topic 2: Memory – How does your memory work?

● Topic 3: Psychological problems – How would psychological problems affect you? ● Topic 4: The brain and neuropsychology – How does your brain affect you?

● Topic 5: Social influence – How do others affect you?

This is a written examination in which all questions must be answered.  The paper consists of six sections. The first five sections each cover one of the topics listed above. These sections will include multiple-choice, short-open and open-response questions. The sixth section will contain two extended open-response questions.

Paper 2 (Paper code: 1PS0/02) Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes 45% of the qualification 79 marks

Topics 6 to 10 are optional; students must study two of them. Topic 11 is compulsory.

● Topic 6: Criminal psychology – Why do people become criminals?

● Topic 7: The self – What makes you who you are?

● Topic 8: Perception – How do you interpret the world around you?

● Topic 9: Sleep and dreaming – Why do you need to sleep and dream?

● Topic 10: Language, thought and communication – How do you communicate with others?

 ● Topic 11: Research methods – How do you carry out psychological research?

Students must answer all questions from Section A. All questions from two sections – B to F. Section A: Research methods – How do you carry out psychological research? This section will focus primarily on Topic 11: Research methods – How do you carry out psychological research? It will contain question types that include calculations, multiple-choice, short-open and open response questions, and one extended open-response question.

What can I do after I have completed the course?

GCSE Psychology can lead to GCE A Level Psychology and complements other GCSE and A Level social science courses. It is an excellent foundation for students wishing to pursue a ca-reer in teaching, social care and forensic, educational or clinical psychology.

Potential Careers

Teaching, Social Care and Forensic Science, Educational or Clinical Psychology

Who can I talk to for more information?

For further information talk to Miss Olseen (Teacher of Psychology)

We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience.
By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. You can find out more and set your own preferences here.