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Joseph Leckie Academy

  • Leadership, Empathy, Community, Kindness, Integrity & Environment

Psychology GCSE

All students will follow the AQA Psychology GCSE specification.  It is an opportunity to study a new and exciting subject which explores how the human mind works and why people behave in particular ways.

It gives an opportunity to learn new skills, understand the world around us and how people interact within that world.

Students will begin to study this course in Year 9 and are expected to complete all assessments at the end of Year 11.


The course is equivalent to 1 GCSE qualification. It provides the opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, analysis and evaluation which are considered to be valuable and transferable skills. It develops independent learners who are willing to think and question, yet work well as part of a team. These are all qualities that are valued in both higher education and by employers

Course Content

During the course students will study the following topics:

Unit 1- Cognition and Behaviour

  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Development
  • Research methods

Unit 2- Understanding Other People

  • Social influence
  • Language, thought and communication
  • Brain and neuropsychology
  • Psychological problems

Both units also require the study of research methods in psychology to build understanding of Psychology as a science.


Assessment is 100% examination based at the end of the course of study.  Students will sit 2 examinations, both 1 hour and 45 minutes, covering the units studied above. Each exam is work 50% of the GCSE.


The course offers progression to A Level psychology and would also support students with other social science A Levels they have not previously studied.  Success in this course would allow access to university and then employment in some of the following careers: psychiatry, psychotherapy, nursing, police force, teaching, behaviour therapy and counselling.