A-Level Psychology

Course Information

  • Course Code: 6181-Y1
  • Duration: 2 academic years
  • Validated by: AQA
  • Study mode: Full Time


Psychology is constantly relevant, dynamic and endlessly fascinating. It is one of the most popular A Level subjects and the department has an enthusiastic and friendly team of experienced lecturers.

Psychology is the study of behaviour and mental processes. It aims to understand how people think and what they do, as well as gaining an understanding of their deeper motivations. Psychology is important in terms of understanding any human activity. For example it can be applied to our well-being (e.g. stress, mental illness), or to the way we interact with others (e.g. relationship formation, conformity and obedience) or to how we might solve problems. These are but a few examples…Psychology has countless other applications.

The department at Blackburn College offers fantastic opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge of psychology in the real world. Past activities have included, for example, our attendance at a Criminal Psychology Conference, and we have also co-organised a sixth form trip to Krakow and Prague (close to the birthplace of Sigmund Freud).

What will I study?

In the first year you will study:

  • Memory, Attachment and Research methods
  • Social Influence, Psychopathology and Approaches in Psychology

In the second year you will study:

  • Research methods and Biopsychology
  • Issues and Debates in Psychology, Stress, Relationships, and Forensic Psychology


Entry Requirements

You will need 4 GCSEs at grade 5 or above with at least a grade 4 in GCSE Maths. You will also need a grade 5 in GCSE English Language, Maths and 55 in Core and Additional Sciences.

How will I be assessed?

Assessed at the end of the second year by three x 2 hour exams (multiple choice, short answer and extended writing – 16 mark essay).

What can I do next?

Psychology offers good career prospects in a range of areas including clinical, forensic, occupational and educational psychology. The skills you learn will also readily transfer to many other careers. These skills include oral and written communication, problem-solving and the ability to carry out independent research.

Your Study Programme

View Study Programme Information

Career Options

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists help people make positive changes to their thinking and behaviour. They aim to understand their clients' thoughts and actions so they can work with them to manage or overcome their psychological distress and improve their well-being.

If you would enjoy helping people with psychological difficulties and have excellent communication and listening skills, this could be an ideal job for you.

To work as a psychologist you will need to complete a three-year degree in psychology, and a three-year postgraduate qualification in clinical psychology.???

Job Opportunites in Lancashire


A psychiatrist is a doctor who looks after patients with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. As a psychiatrist, you would work in a team of health and social care professionals to assess, diagnose and treat patients who have been referred to you.

To become a psychiatrist you will need to complete a five-year degree course in medicine. You will then take on paid work placements to complete your psychiatrist training. There is a two-year foundation programme of general training, followed by specialist training, lasting around six years.

If you are interested in how the mind works and you have strong academic abilities and excellent communication skills, then this challenging career could be ideal for you.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Sport And Exercise Psychologist

Sport and exercise psychologists study the mental and emotional effects of taking part in sport and exercise. They typically specialise in either sport or exercise, although some work in both. If you are interested in sport and want to help people reach their potential, this job could be ideal for you. You will need to have a genuine desire to help people, and also be able to maintain a professional distance. To get into this job you will need to do a three-year degree in psychology, followed by a master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology, and two years of supervised practice.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists apply psychology theory to criminal behaviour and explore what makes people commit crimes. If you are interested in criminal behaviour and want to help offenders make positive changes, this is a career that you might like.

To become a forensic psychologist you would have a desire to want to help and support offenders. Excellent communication and listening skills will also help you work with a broad range of people including other professionals.

You will need to begin your career by doing a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree in psychology.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Consumer Scientist

Consumer scientists study why people use or buy certain products and services. As a consumer scientist, you would research the tastes and needs of consumers and give advice to manufacturers and retailers on how to improve the quality, design and popularity of an item or service.

If you enjoy research, are interested in business and psychology, and you have excellent communication skills then this role could suit you well.

To become a consumer scientist you will usually need a degree in a relevant subject such as consumer studies or food science and technology.??

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

University Plus

For all students looking to progress to university after completing their studies in The Sixth Form, we have introduced a University Plus programme. This includes university interview techniques, the opportunity to take part in an extended project, pre-degree courses in Business, Medicine and Teaching, and an excellent partnership with the UK top 10 Lancaster University, who guarantee interviews for students who meet the entry criteria on their course.

All these options, paired with tutorial activities, could give you an additional 180 UCAS points, giving you the best opportunity to achieve your place at your first choice university and your dream degree.

Academic Study Programme

Our study programme is set to help our students get the most out of their time at Blackburn Sixth Form. Alongside an outstanding education, students will also receive:

  • an A-Level qualification
  • Employability skills
  • Enrichment activities
  • Performance and study skills

Blackburn Sixth Form

Offering our students an academic environment for studying, Blackburn Sixth Form is an excellent location for those looking to excel in their A-Level studies. You have access to:

  • Large Lecture Theatre - built to enable students to get used to university-style learning
  • Common Rooms - a great place for students to enjoy downtime, catch up with friends or hold small revision sessions
  • Industry-standard laboratories - 4 professional laboratories set up for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our laboratories have helped microbiologists, doctors, pharmacists and veterinary surgeons get into their chosen careers
  • Starbucks - attached to the Sixth Form Centre is Courtyard Cafe, one of three Starbucks Cafes on campus that serve the famous coffee, and at 40% cheaper than the high street.

Sixth Form Guarantee

As a Blackburn Sixth Form student, you can expect:

  • Independent thinking - where your own experiences and observations mould your education.
  • Enrichment activities - that enable you to receive a great education, as well as having fun whilst doing so.
  • Support - a vast amount of support from all staff to ensure you get the results you deserve.
  • A learning environment that is academic, friendly and safe.