A Level Psychology at SM6

Have you ever wondered how your memory works? Or why people are so obedient? How reliable are eye witnesses? Or countless other questions about human behaviour?

A Level Psychology is an exciting, challenging and popular subject at SM6. During your studies we will investigate many different areas of human behaviour and attempt to gain a better understanding of what makes us tick. We are also a high performing subject and have consistently been judged Excellent or Outstanding via ALPS for the last 4 years.

A2 results in Psychology:

Year A* A B C D E U
2013 0 5 7 0 0 0 0
2012 1 2 5 2 1 0 0
2011 1 4 7 2 1 0 0
2010 1 1 6 4 2 0 0

You will develop an understanding of different areas of psychology such as cognition, development, social and individual differences and also learn the fundamental scientific skills required for conducting psychological research.

Course Content

AS Level (First year of course)

Psychological investigations

An ideal introduction to the world of psychological research methods – students conduct 4 small scale investigations of their own in order to prepare for the examination. Through this module, you will be introduced to carrying out research in a practical setting.

Core studies

Covers the classic, exemplar studies in psychology and demonstrates how learning about behaviour has influenced our thinking today. You will learn about 15 studies, 3 each from the 5 psychological approaches: social, cognitive, physiological, developmental and individual differences. You will use these studies to explore issues, debates, perspectives and methods.

A2 Level (Second year of course)

Options in applied psychology

Gives you the opportunity to learn about how psychological theory is applied in real life situations. You will study the following options:

  • Forensic psychology
  • Health & Clinical psychology

Approaches and research methods in psychology

Draws together everything you have learnt into a whole. In particular you will look at approaches and develop aspects of research methods that will have been introduced in previous units. You will be required to design a practical project, using all that you have learned in psychology.

How will I learn?

Teaching will involve a mix of all styles from traditional lecture based, to group work, presentations, ICT based research (through departmental laptops), study visits, drama and role-plays.

Trips and Visits

We continue to focus on providing as many enrichment activities as possible within the department. We are presently investigating trips to London and closer links with universities to provide pathway advice. We have run the following trip in 2013/4:


In February 2014 19 students attended a study tour of Berlin. During our time there we visited concentration camps and the former Stasi headquarters to learn more about the psychology behind such events as the holocaust and the work of the secret police in East Germany. We also found the time to see stars like George Clooney and Matt Damon attending the world famous Berlin film festival. It was a great trip that had a profound effect on all that attended.

Chester Zoo

Every year we attend to carry out primate observations. This gives students a great first-hand experience of carrying out practical work and allows for excellent evaluation opportunities, as well as being a fun day out!

How will I be assessed?

All formal assessment for A level Psychology is by exam. Throughout the course, you will also be assessed by your teacher. This informal assessment will consist of written work, project work, presentation and discussions.

Where can I go after completing this course?

If you choose to study Psychology at University you will find a large number of courses to choose from, some of them covering the traditional areas of the subject and some with a narrower focus. After graduation many avenues are open, both in specialist areas of Psychology and in the wider market place. Clinical, Educational, Counselling, Occupational and Health Psychology are just some of the specialist fields.

Further Information:

If you would like any further information on the course please e-mail Rtuffin@staff.st-marys.hull.sch.uk or come and see me in M6.

R Tuffin
Head of Psychology