How Hard is A-level Psychology and Other Related Questions?

A-level Psychology is one of the most interesting and enjoyable subjects. A-level Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour. This article has been written to answer all your queries regarding the difficulty of the subject and all other related questions.

How Hard is A-level Psychology?

A-level psychology is a moderately difficult subject. It is much easier than the traditional sciences such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology, but it is harder than other sciences such as Sociology and Food Studies.

The mathematics involved in Psychology is fairly straightforward and simple. Anyone who has passed GCSE mathematics will have no problem with it.

A-level Psychology is largely an essay-based subject, which gives you the freedom to express your thoughts in your exams.

At the same time writing good essays and articulating your thoughts in the manner the examiner wants is quite challenging. This is something many students struggle with.

Learning the correct exam technique will take A-level Psychology students a considerable amount of time. However, it is definitely doable, the vast pleothora of resources such as subject guides, revision notes and videos will make this task easier.

The third factor that dissuades students from taking A-level Psychology is the number of case studies and other things you must remember to be able to successfully write your exams.

This is absolutely true. A-level Psychology requires you to memorize a medium-sized syllabus. The A-level Psychology syllabus might not be as enormous or as detailed as the Biology or Chemistry Syllabi but it is fairly large.

How hard is the Syllabus of A-level Psychology?

The syllabus and content of A-level Psychology is reasonably straightforward, quite relatable, and interesting. Hence, you should have no problems in understanding the content.

Case studies are the pillars of A-level Psychology. Most of the content in Physics and Chemistry can be tested in the labs.

The psychology cases cannot be tested in the labs as easily, this is because they require testing on humans and these tests can last months or even years.

Hence, it would not be practical and feasible to add a lab section in A-level Psychology. Instead, you are required to study the famous experiments of psychologists and scientists from around the world.

The topics in As-level Psychology include:

  1. Social Influence
  2. Memory
  3. Attachment
  4. Approaches in Psychology
  5. Psychopathology
  6. Research Methods

The topics in A-level Psychology include:

  1. Approaches in Psychology
  2. Biopsychology
  3. Research Methods
  4. Issues and Debates in Psychology
  5. Relationships
  6. Gender
  7. Cognitive Development
  8. Schizophrenia
  9. Eating Behaviour
  10. Stress
  11. Aggression
  12. Forensic Psychology
  13. Addiction

As you can see from the topics, you would probably have a basic understanding of them. A-level Psychology builds on these and provides evidence from experiments and case studies.

It is an extremely relatable and interesting subject. Most of A-level Psychology is really fascinating and this will make your studies easier, since, our brains tend to remember more when we find something captivating.

How Difficult is A-level Psychology Compared to GCSE?

a level psychology difficulty

A-level Psychology builds on the concepts of GCSE Psychology but it is not significantly more difficult, although it does have a few challenging concepts and a relatively larger syllabus.

As-level Psychology is simply a more detailed version of GCSE topics. It has more difficult and longer questions but the topics are quite similar. The examiners marking and expectations become harsher.

A-level Psychology has many new topics that were only mentioned in GCSE Psychology. The marking remains similar to AS-level but the topics are relatively more abstract and not common knowledge.

In short, if you like the subject, you should easily be able to manage it as long as you get the hang of the exam technique and revise regularly.

GCSE has a surprisingly low pass rate that hovers around 65%. This could possibly be because many students are not serious about taking Psychology after GCSE and only take it as an extra subject.

A-level Psychology on the other hand has a consistent pass rate of over 95%. Many students claim A-level Psychology is the easiest in their subject combination.

What are the Minimum Requirements to Study A-level Psychology?

The minimum requirements most colleges require before students are allowed to enrol in A-level Psychology classes is a 4 in GCSE Maths, 5 in GCSE English, and a 5 in Combined or Triple Science GCSE. Some colleges may accept you with lower grades as well.

The reasons these colleges have made these requirements is to ensure all those students who take A-level Psychology can manage it successfully.

If you are unable to meet these requirements, then you may put in a request to your college and they may consider you on lower grades. You could explain if you had extenuating circumstances, or were not serious enough etc.

Alternatively, you could take other subjects with your college and study A-level Psychology by yourself. Most students are easily able to self study thanks to all the online courses, videos and study guides that are readily available.

Is A-level Psychology Respected?

A-level Psychology is a decently respected subject, although not as valued as A-level Further Maths and the Traditional Sciences. However, it is more respected than easier A-levels such as Food Studies and Sociology.

Many students call A-level Psychology a soft option with no real worth. This is a completely incorrect notion. A-level Psychology can allow you to understand and dive into the inner workings of the human mind.

A-level Psychology can also be the defining factor in helping you determine whether you want to study it in the future.

A-level Psychology is relatively easy, but not the easiest A-level subject. Hence, you should not worry about what other people think when they label A-level Psychology as useless. If you enjoy it and have an interest in it, then it is a good choice and you should definitely go for it.

What is A-level Psychology like?

What is A-level Psychology like?

Like GCSE, A-level Psychology is an interesting subject which allows you to explore the inner workings of the human mind. It focusses on the various emotions and thought processes. The A-level Psychology classes are often full of debates and discussions.

Most people who are curious about how our brains work and how they process information will like psychology. Human behaviour is quite predictable which enables psychologists to study and explore it.

The classes have lots of discussions, presentations and debates. This makes the classes fun and lively.

Furthermore, you will be expected to write several essay-based answers.

Is Psychology a Good A-level for Medicine?

A-level Psychology is a good subject for studying Medicine in the future. It should, however, be taken as a fourth subject in addition to Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

Medicine is a highly competitive field and you should ideally want to stand out from the rest of the students. You can do this by taking 4 or 5 A-levels.

A-level Psychology can introduce you to topics that are not explained in the same depth as in Biology. The A-level Biology syllabus is massive and covers many topics. The downside is all those topics cannot be explained in detail.

Psychology is essentially taking one of the topics in Biology, the Nervous System, and explaining it in detail. The Nervous system focusses on the brain and related structures, but more on the physical part. Psychology also focusses on the intangible parts such as emotion, thought and behaviour.

Hence Psychology will help you understand humans and animals better and is a great subject to take if your plans are set on Medicine.

You should not take Psychology if you are only taking three subjects because it is not as highly respected as Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. But it does make a great choice as a fourth subject for those who want to study Medicine.

What can A-level Psychology Lead to?

A-level Psychology can lead you to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to study an undergraduate degree. It will make you more open-minded and develop the ability to use scientific research and case studies to holistically understand why people behave the way they do.

A-level Psychology can help you get a degree in Psychology. This will allow you to pursue a career as a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Social worker, Counsellor, and Human Resource Manager.

Psychology is a broad subject and is heavily research-based. You can study it until you get a doctorate in Psychology. The other option would be to join an institute whose main focus is on researching different aspects of Psychology.

You could also start a Youtube Channel and teach Psychology at different levels. There is a serious demand for high-quality Psychology content. Alternatively, you could tutor or teach Psychology as well.

If you are more of an independent person, you could research Psychology yourself and publish the results for the benefit of humanity.


A-level Psychology is a great subject which is relatively straightforward . Most students are easily able to clear the subject with decent grades.

The subject is largely common sense and extremely relatable. It makes an excellent choice as a fourth or fifth A-level for many competitive Universities.

A-level Psychology is well known for being a subject where you can easily score an “A” grade as long as you manage to understand the exam technique, revise and memorize the case studies and all other relevant information.