at Cockermouth School


What is Psychology?
Psychology is the science of mind and behaviour. It aims to understand the biological and social factors which impact on why humans behave in the way that they do. Classes use group discussion and activities to explore questions such as:

  • ‘Are we born the way we are, or do our life experiences and circumstances shape us?’
  • ‘Why do some people experience mental illness?’
  • ‘What is memory and why do we forget things?’

Why take Psychology?
Psychology is used in many areas of daily life and is a useful subject for a wide variety of careers, such as teaching, nursing, social work, business and marketing, youth work and the criminal justice system and law.

Following a degree in psychology, you could also go on to train to become a professional psychologist in fields such as Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology, Occupational Psychology, Criminal/Forensic Psychology, Sport Psychology, Neuropsychology. You could also go on to conduct academic research in your area of interest.

What qualifications, skills and interests do I need to take Psychology?
You need a keen interest in and enthusiasm for Psychology.
Emphasis is placed on logical thought and evidence-based reasoning. Grade 6 in two sciences is required.
English Language skills are essential, as you need to be able to present well-focused, structured and accurate essays, which evaluate theories and studies in detail. Grade 6 in English Language is required.
Mathematics is especially important at A Level, where an understanding of advanced statistics is required. Grade 5 in mathematics is preferred.

Key Stage 5

We follow the AQA specification, the content of the A Level is outlined below:

Year 12 

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology, including social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology

Paper 2: Psychology in context, including approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods  

Year 13

Paper 2: Psychology in context (continued), including approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology, including issues and debates in psychology, relationships, schizophrenia and aggression

Assessment: Three written examinations, of 2 hours each, worth 33.3% each of the A Level

Outside the Classroom

We offer extra-curricular trips, to complement the A Level Psychology courses. Each year, a week’s residential course to London is offered to year 12 students, to visit a variety of psychology related venues.

For further information about psychology in general and careers, please visit:
For an overview of A Level topics, please visit: