Department Information



Psychology is defined as “the scientific study of people; the mind and behaviour” (BPS). Throughout the A Level programme, students will be looking at many different aspects of behaviour, both typical (memory, obedience etc) and atypical (depression, schizophrenia etc). 

A student opting to study Psychology at Cross and Passion College will be encouraged to:

  • Approach the study of Psychology with confidence and a positive attitude, founded on their enjoyment of the subject
  • Gain an understanding of psychological knowledge through a range of theories and studies.
  • Gain fluency and confidence in the use of the psychological terminology and methods.
  • Reflect on their individual learning experience
  • Enjoy and benefit from working both independently and in cooperation with others.
  • Develop an ability to gather appropriate and relevant information from a range of sources.
  • Develop skills of critical analysis, interpretation and evaluation


Miss E McKay  (Teacher in charge of Social Sciences)


A-Level Psychology (AQA)

This is a two year course with 3 exams at the end of Year 14

Paper 1: Introducing topics in Psychology

  • Social Influence (obedience, conformity, social roles and social pressures)
  • Memory (multi-store model of memory, long-term memory, explanations of forgetting, use of eyewitness testimonies)
  • Attachment (caregiver-infant interactions, Bowlby, Ainsworth, maternal deprivation, Romanian orphanages studies)
  • Psychopathology (abnormality, OCD, phobias, depression)

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

  • Approaches in Psychology (Biological, Cognitive, Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Learning)
  • Biopsychology (nervous system, neurons, fight or flight response, areas and functions of the brain, sleep/wake cycle)
  • Research Methods (experiments, observations, correlations, case studies)

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

  • Issues and Debates (gender and culture, free will and determinism, nature and nurture, idiographic and nomothetic)
  • Options: Students will choose 3 options from the following:

Relationships/Gender/Cognition and Development/Schizophrenia/Eating Behaviour/Stress/Aggression/Forensic Psychology/Addiction


A Psychology trip to London is organised every two years. Students get a chance to explore aspects of Psychology outside the classroom for example Jack the Ripper Tour (Forensic Psychology), London Zoo (use of animals for research), National Science Museum (Who Am I? Psychology exhibition). On the most recent trip, students got to attend a ‘mock’ Psychology lecture in the University College of London (rated number 4 in the top UK Universities for Psychology 2014)

The NI branch of the BPS run annual Psychology events which our students are encouraged to attend. Events in 2014/2015 included:

  • Sport and Exercise Psychology Public Lecture
  • A Flavour of Psychology event at Queen’s University Belfast- aimed at A Level students interested in studying Psychology at University
  • All Ireland Psychology Undergraduate Careers Event
  • I’m a Psychologist Get Me Out of Here’  at University of Ulster- aimed at students from Year 11- Year 12, to give them a taste of what studying Psychology would be like
  • Inaugural A-Level Conference at Queen’s University Belfast, for students currently studying A-Level Psychology