"Human nature is not an object for curiosity merely. It is the source of all our enjoyments, the sum of all our powers. It is the great artist to which poetry, eloquence, history, philosophy, and all the arts and sciences, owe their existance. It is the grand instrument of feeling to which life owes all its interest. It is, in a word, that which makes us to be what we are. It is our very selves. The study of it, therefore, cannot but be deeply interesting." John Gibson Macvicar, 1853.


The Course: Year 12

  • Approaches to Psychology.
  • Memory processes and memory improvement.
  • The attachment relationship between young children and parents.
  • Obedience to authority and conformity.
  • Defining and treating abnormal behaviour.
  • How psychological investigations are carried out.

The Course: Year 13

  • Approaches to Psychology.
  • Relationships
  • Addictions
  • Schizophrenia
  • Biopsychology (including neural mechanisms).
  • Understanding and practice of scientific method.
  • The debates surrounding the causes of human behaviour e.g Nature? Or nurture? A result of free will? Or determined by internal and external forces?
  • Ethics and bias in research.


  • Analysis, evaluation and application of research.
  • Interpreting scientific data and research.
  • Design and conduct of research.


A Level:

Three equally weighted 2 hour exams which include a range of questions styles: multiple choice, short answer and extended writing.

A2 Compulsory Content:

  1. Social Influence: types of conformity and explanations for conformity; conformity to social roles; explanations for obedience; resistance to social influence; minority influence; the role of social influence.
  2. Memory: multi-store model of memory; types of long-term memory; the working memory model; explanations for forgetting; eyewitness testimony.
  3. Attachment: caregiver-infant interactions in humans; animal studies of attachment; types and explanations of attachment; Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation; the influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships.
  4. Psychopathology: definitions of abnormality; phobias, depression and OCD; behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias; cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression; biological approach to explaining and treating OCD.
  5. Approaches in Psychology: learning approaches; the cognitive approach; the biological approach; the psychodynamic approach; humanistic psychology; comparison of approaches.
  6. Biopsychology: divisions of the nervous system; structure and function of sensory, relay and motor neurons; fight or flight response; functions of the brain and ways of studying the brain; biological rhythms.
  7. Research methods: laboratory and field experiments, natural and quasi-experiments; observational techniques; questionnaires/interviews; correlations; content analysis; case studies.
  8. Issues and debates in psychology:gender and culture; free will and determination; the nature-nurture debate; levels of explanation in psychology; idiographic and nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation; ethical implications of research.
Optional Content - choose 3 from:
  • Relationships
  • Gender
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating Behaviour
  • Addiction


For further details, please contact Mrs Kirke, Head of Pyschology

All current plans for sixth form programmes of study at Bishop Stopford School are provisional, dependent on student numbers and government policy.