Head of Department: Mrs L Egerton
Exam Board OCR
Qualification: GCSE Psychology

Programme of study

GCSE Psychology will provide students with an understanding of human behaviour. The programme covers five core areas Biological, Cognitive, Social, Developmental and Individual differences in a range of different topics including memory, social influence, criminal psychology and sleep and dreaming. Students will develop their skills in short answer questions and extended writing where they will be expected to analyse research and draw conclusions to the research whilst then evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of research. Students will use their mathematical ability to explain research methods and evaluate the different methods that psychologists use to test their theories. Students will complete 2 exams at the end of the 2 years.

How is the course structured & assessed?

Students will complete two 90 minute exams both worth 50% each to make up the final GCSE grade

Paper 1: Studies and applications in psychology 1

Students will explore the following topics:

Criminal psychology including the different types of crime committed, deviation from social norms, theories of criminality and rehabilitation.

Development including stages of development, Piaget’s theory of development and how they apply to education.

Psychological problems including and introduction to mental health, the role of stigma, schizophrenia and clinical depression and the treatments of mental health both biological and psychological. 

Students will complete a section on Research Methods which cover all the types of methods used to investigate theories and their advantages and disadvantages. This section will focus on designing an investigation.

Paper 2: Studies and applications in psychology 2

Students will explore the following topics:

  • Social influence including conformity, obedience and the effect of situational 
  • factors on our behaviour as well as how minority influence leads to social change.
  • Memory including information processing, the multi store model and the use of cues and repetition.
  • Sleep and dreaming including the benefits of sleep, Freudian theory of dreaming, features of insomnia and treatment.
  • Students will complete a second section on Research methods this time the research methods relate to a novel source.

What can these qualifications lead to?

Students will acquire a range of knowledge that allows them to understand people and how they behave. This would be useful in any people focused role such as nursing, police or any customer facing roles or Human resources. The course leads on perfectly to progress to A Level Psychology as it provides a foundation of which to build their understanding of human behaviour. It sits alongside other social science courses such as A Level Sociology by complimenting its understanding of the wider society. Many transferable skills are learnt in Psychology, such as mathematical skills and scientific knowledge. The course also includes extended writing skills that would be useful for other subjects that analyse and evaluate context and theory.