Mr D Blacklege Teacher of Psychology, Assistant Head Teacher

What topics do we cover?

You will cover 5 topics over 2 units and they will focus on the process of psychology and its application in today’s world.

The units contain key psychological questions with key terms, practical aspects including the research of psychologists and the research you will undertake, and the relevance of issue to our world.

Unit 1 – Perception and Dreaming

This includes 2 topics –

  • Topic A: How do we see our world?
  • Topic B: Is dreaming meaningful?

Unit 1 is worth 40% of the total marks and is assessed in a 60 mark external paper.

The paper is a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions and will last 1hr and 15 mins.

Unit 2 – Social and Biological Psychological Debates

This unit includes 3 topics –

  • Topic C: Do TV and video games affect young people’s behaviour?
  • Topic D: Why do we have phobias?
  • Topic E: Are criminals born or made?

Unit 2 is worth 60% of the total marks and is assessed in a 90 mark external paper. The paper is a combination of multiple choice questions, short answer questions and some extended writing. This will also last 1hr and 45 mins.

Edexcel GCSE Psychology Specification

The course specification has been designed to draw upon five topics selected for their coverage of the GCSE Psychology subject criteria. The topics derive from extensive consultation with students, teachers and subject experts. The topics are phrased as key questions and, through the qualification content structure, students are encouraged to answer these questions from a psychological perspective.

All topics ask students to explore and investigate the question and consider why psychology matters. Interpretation, evaluation and analysis of psychology are therefore embedded throughout the topics and the specification helps students to explain, theorise and model in psychology. The five topics are all key contemporary debates in society today and include relevant and contemporary scientific research.

The topics will provide a platform to explore current debates such as nature nurture, ethical issues and comparisons to see how psychology has developed over time and differs between various cultures. There is a deliberate focus on what psychologists do and the specification enables students to consider the implications of psychology for society.

Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills

This Edexcel GCSE specification requires students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

Data, theories and explanations:

  • collection of data from secondary sources, including the consideration of validity and reliability of evidence
  • analysis and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data
  • interpretation of data to provide evidence for testing ideas and developing theories
  • explanations of behaviour by developing and using scientific theories and models.

Investigation and enquiry:

  • planning to conduct a psychological investigation and structure a hypothesis
  • evaluating design and ethical implications of psychological enquiry.

Evaluative and interpretative skills:

  • recalling, analysing, interpreting, applying and questioning information or ideas
  • presenting information, developing arguments and drawing conclusions, using psychological concepts, terminology and conventions.

Applications and implications of psychology:

  • the use of contemporary psychological developments and their benefits and drawbacks
  • how psychological knowledge and ideas change over time
  • appreciation of the implications of culture in psychological enquiry
  • relationship of psychological study to other areas of scientific enquiry and society as a whole

Useful Links

Exam Board –