Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. It is both a flourishing academic discipline and a vital professional practice.


Psychologists study thought and behaviour at many levels - from the detailed structure and function of the brain, through to social and cultural processes in an attempt to gain a clearer vision of who we are and why we do what we do. In pursuing this science of the mind. We discover how to decipher the world around us and, of course, our world within. In doing so, we gain a completely different idea of the things we know best. The skills learnt at A Level will readily transfer to many other careers.

This subject will enable students to:

  • Develop their abilities to analyse and evaluate information;
  • Develop communication skills;
  • Develop literacy and numeracy skills;
  • Think critically and apply theories to everyday situations;
  • Apply scientific methods to human behaviour;
  • Enter fields of work such as education, health, social work and law.

A Level Curriculum 

Board: AQA

At A Level students do not need to have studied any particular subjects at GCSE - no prior knowledge is expected. Students should have an interest in learning about ‘what makes humans tick’, the ability to express themselves well in writing, be analytical and have the capability to think critically.

Lower Sixth 

Paper 1: Social influence, memory and attachment

Paper 2: Psychopathology, approaches in psychology including biopsychology and research methods.

The first year of the A Level course is assessed by two 1.5 hour internal examinations, the content of both is compulsory. Each paper consists of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer questions.

Upper Sixth 

Paper 1: Social influence, memory, attachment and psychopathology.

Paper 2: Approaches in psychology, biopsychology and research methods

Paper 3: Issues and debates plus grouped optional topics. The A Level is assessed by three two-hour examinations, the content of Paper 1, 2 and section A of Paper 3 are compulsory. Each paper consists of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer questions.

Department Staff

Ms Lucy Burden has a B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology degree from the Open University, a Higher Diploma in Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy and a PGCE from Sheffield Hallam University. She has previously been an examiner and has been teaching successfully for many years.


Ms Lucy Burden
Head of Department

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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