Department Staff

Mr M Snee
i/c Psychology
Head of Mathematics


Psychology is the scientific investigation of someone’s mental processes and behaviour; it can apply to many parts of human life and links the natural and human sciences. Psychology is offered in both AS and full A-level.

It is a popular choice for pupils in the Sixth form as psychology can be combined with variety of disciplines such as business, medicine, education, biology and law. The skills that a student of psychology acquires provide many benefits that extend beyond on the sixth form.

Key Stage 5

Lincoln Castle Academy offers AS and A2 Level courses in Psychology.

Psychology offers employability!

Students may or may not choose to study psychology in Higher or further Education, but either way, what is learnt on a psychology A level course will equip students for a range of courses.

Overlapping with Biology, Medicine, Management Training, and careers in Nursing, Social Sciences, Teaching, Social Work, the Armed Forces or other Public Services, with benefits across most of what we do.

Psychology is useful!

Imagine if we knew the way humans work so we could intervene and reduce problems such as stress, eye witness memory, child development, mental illness, eating disorders, unhealthy lifestyles and depression. In addition to gaining understanding of the validity, reliability and ethics of Psychological and Social Science research Psychology is interesting and different. It complements a wide range of other subjects, both arts and sciences.

It accesses all three key skill areas:

  • Communications - through written answers, essays, practical reports, discussion and independent learning projects.
  • Numeracy - through descriptive statistics at AS and inferential statistics in A2.
  • ICT - through word processing of essays and coursework reports, using e-mail for enquiry, statistical analysis, presentation of data and preparation of presentations.

Key stage 5


Half of the course is based on 2 options in applied psychology and is assessed in a 1½ hour exam in January:

Forensic Psychology

  • Turning to Crime: upbringing, cognition, biology
  • Making a Case: interviewing witnesses and suspects, profiling
  • Reaching a Verdict: persuading juries, witness appeals, reaching a verdict.

Health and Clinical Pyschology

  • Stress: causes, measuring and managing stress
  • Dysfunctional Behaviour: diagnosis, explanations, treatments
  • Disorders: characteristics, anxiety / psychotic disorders, treatments.

The other half of the A2 course covers research methods and perspectives in Psychology and is assessed in a 1½ hour exam in June.

This unit draws together learning from all units into a whole. In particular it looks at approaches and develops aspects of research methods introduced in units one and two.

Candidates will be expected to apply their knowledge of psychological research methodology. The exam will contain a short scenario that will provide a focus for research. Candidates will propose a suitable design and procedure for carrying out the research and discuss how they would handle the data.

In the perspectives and approaches part of the examination, candidates will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the different approaches within psychology, discussing strengths and limitations. They will make comparisons between one approach and another and discuss how psychology can help our understanding of everyday life.


15 Core studies covering the 5 main areas of Psychology:

  • Developmental Psychology including cognitive development and attachment
  • Cognitive Psychology including eyewitness testimony, autism and language acquisition in non-human primates
  • Physiological psychology including murderers’ brains, taxi drivers’ brains, sleep and dreaming
  • Individual differences including multiple personality disorder, can psychiatrists diagnose mental illness accurately?
  • Social Psychology, including obedience and conformity
  • Ethical issues, theories, themes and perspectives

2 Hour exam = 70% of AS

Also: Research methods – carry out your own psychological investigations or otherwise become familiar with four techniques of collecting data:

  • Self-report
  • Experiment
  • Observation
  • Correlation

1 Hour exam = 30% of AS


The learning plans for each subject taught within each year group are available below; click on each image to view full size.