Key Information

Examination Board Edexcel
Syllabus Code  2PS01


Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour: how we think, feel, act and interact individually and in groups.
Psychology is a relatively young subject and stemmed from Biology and Philosophy, with scientific research methods taken from Physics.
Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour. It is both an ever developing, exciting discipline and is also a vital component in almost every area of life.
We are all interested in what makes people tick and how this understanding can help solve major problems in society.
Psychology is a science and psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, then arriving at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology.
Applied or practising psychologists use the knowledge gained from this research in a wide range of settings. Applied psychologists help people with all sorts of problems, working with them to bring about change for the better.

Course Content

Unit one: Perception and Dreaming (40% of total marks)

Topic A: How do we see our world?
This topic focuses on perception and illusions, drawing on biological (physical explanations) and cognitive psychology (mental processing explanations).

Topic B: Is dreaming meaningful?
This topic looks at Freud’s dream theory and an opposing theory, known as activation synthesis. So are dreams important or just a bi-product of sleeping.

Unit two: Social and Biological Psychological Debates

Topic C: Do TV and video games affect young people’s behaviour?
This topic covers causes of aggression, including psychological and social causes

Topic D: Why do we have phobias?
This topic considers social learning, conditioning and evolutionary causes of phobias (irrational fear of object or situation)

Topic E: Are criminals born or made?
This topic considers proposed biological and social causes of criminality, such as genes and what we learn from others.


Unit 1 – Paper 1 consists of multiple-choice and short answer questions

Lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes

There are 60 marks in the examination and the result contributes 40% of the total grade for the full GCSE


Unit 2 – Paper 2 consists of multiple-choice questions, short answers and some extended writing

Lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes

There are 90 marks in the examination and the result contributes 60% of the total grade for the full GCSE

Careers and Progression

With a psychology qualification, the pathways are numerous, due to the nature of the subject. In fact any career, where it is important to understand and communicate with people effectively, such as; business, travel and tourism, health and teaching professions etc.

If a career as a chartered psychologist was the aim, then the British Psychological Society (BPS) recognises several areas of psychology in which it is possible to become a Chartered Psychologist; Clinical, Counselling, Education, Forensic, Health, Neuro and Occupational psychologist, Sport & Exercise Psychologists, Teachers and Researchers in psychology.

For more information, contact Ms Kendall