Malvern College has recently introduced Psychology A level into its curriculum. Psychology, the study of human behaviour using scientific methods to both analyse and explain it, has been reclassified by the QCA as a science subject. The majority of pupils studying it have had no previous experience of the subject although, as 10% of the overall assessment of Psychology will contain maths skills, an ability to interpret numerical data is required, as is an enquiring and analytical mind.

The AQA specification we follow provides a broad introduction to the scope and nature of psychology as a science, bringing the content up to date. The emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding rather than just acquiring knowledge, thereby developing pupils’ transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking.

The specification offers a broad range of topics, with research methods in context. At A Level, there is a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different approaches and engage pupils in issues and debates in contemporary psychology.