IAL Psychology

“Psychology is the science of intellect, characters, and behaviour of animals, including man.”

Edward Lee Thorndike

You may think that you know what Psychology is – most people have an idea that it’s about understanding why people do things. Although this is an aim of Psychology a more formal definition sees Psychology as the scientific study of brain and behaviour.

The International Psychology A Level aims to:

  • develop students enthusiasm for the subject and encourage an interest in progression to higher education and vocations in Psychology
  • allow students to appreciate the scientific nature of Psychology and to engage in contemporary debates through an understanding of research
  • allow students to develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills and knowledge required in the study of Psychology
  • develop students’ essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other


In order to gain a foundation in Psychology AS level students study four approaches:

  • Social – obedience and conformity
  • Cognitive – models of memory
  • Biological – aggression and body rhythms
  • Learning – theories and development

A practical focus is embedded within the specification. A series of short and manageable practical experiments and tests accompany the approaches, allowing students to develop an active knowledge of the scientific aspects of Psychology.

The A2 part of the course gives students the opportunity to study some issues of Psychology in the real world. Students will discover how the approaches learnt studied at AS come together to help explain human behaviour. In unit 3 students study applications relating to Developmental Psychology Criminological Psychology and Health Psychology. Finally, in unit 4, students will study Clinical Psychology and Psychological skills.

Click here for more information about Psychology.