sandbach high school and Sixth form college

Curriculum Intentions

Psychology students are more than just students. They are psychologists themselves. They are explorers of the human mind and behaviour and apply these skills both in and outside of the classroom. Psychology is more than just a course – it is a way of understanding the world.

A level Psychology offers a unique insight into many areas of human behaviour, including how our memory works, what causes prejudice, whether criminals are made or born and what causes mental health issues. 

This qualification offers an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.

Studying Psychology equips you with a number of valuable transferable skills including being able to communicate effectively using appropriate language, to interpret and critically assess scientific data, and to research and critically evaluate a range of sources. The course also encourages a development of strong literacy and numeracy skills. The acquisition of such a diverse range of skills will be of great benefit to students in further education, the workplace and society in general.

Curriculum Lead

Curriculum Lead – Ms C Wildman – 

Key Stage 5

We teach 4 topics in year 1 and these are: Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology. Within this first year, we also teach Research Methods and how to create and evaluate your own Psychological Research.

In year 2, we teach Schizophrenia, Relationships, Forensic Psychology and Issues and Debates. We also continue teaching Research Methods, bringing in Statistical Tests and the interpretation of data.

Over both years, we also teach the Psychological Approaches including Behaviourism, Social Learning Theory, Cognitive, Biological, Psychodynamic and the Humanist Approach. We also teach Biopsychology across both years.


End of Topic Tests

Essay Questions

Mock Exams

An hour long assessment on each topic

An essay style question that will utilise the previous week’s learning

End of year exams will take place at the end of Year 12. These will cover both Paper 1 and Paper 2, covering all content taught in Year 12.

Year 13 will have mock exams covering all content covered

Having an A-level in Psychology forms an excellent basis for a career working with or managing people. Psychology is a well-respected qualification and a large number of students who study the subject go on to complete Psychology related courses at University.

These degree courses include; Psychology, Criminology, Sociology, Business studies, Teaching, Sport and Exercise Science and Law.

Studying Psychology at university can give you a whole host of exciting career options, including:

  • Education Psychology
  • Police
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Human Resources
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Marketing
  • Business Development
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Teaching

For further information on this course at Sandbach College visit:

Wider Curriculum

The Social Sciences department offers a large number of enrichment activities at lunchtime or after school. These include:

  • Each year we take students to London for two days to visit the Freud Museum, Tavistock Centre (Mental health facility), Jack the Ripper Trail and London Dungeons.  
  • Regular attendance at conferences on Forensic Psychology and criminal profiling.  
  • Trips (e.g., sixth form visits from the True Life Conference, visits to Manchester Law Court).
  • Links with leading local universities
  • Visiting speakers from academia and industry.

Useful Links

Five ways to help your child:

  1. Encouragement to research the British Psychological Society website for more information about the area of psychology:
  2. Find out about different types of psychologists' roles:
  3. Reading around the subject from a standard psychology book will give you a headstart on the course. For exam board specific books please contact the psychology department for suggestions.
  4. Engage in current and past documentaries on the topics above.
  5. Enrol in free online Open University courses relating to topics of interest in Psychology.