GCSE Psychology

The course

Psychology is the study of the operation and functioning of the mind/brain, in all its aspects, in relation to our dealings with other human beings and our own selves. It is a subject that is relevant to understanding human behaviour in everyday life. It involves a critical understanding of cultural, social, scientific, and ethical issues. The course is highly structured. Each topic has a specified core theory, a core study, key concepts, and an application of research suggestion. There is a course textbook and workbook designed by the Board to work in conjunction with the course. 

You study three units. Unit 1 (Unit B451: Studies and Applications in Psychology 1) looks at sex and gender, memory, attachment, obedience and atypical behaviour. Unit 2 (Unit B542: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2) looks at criminal behaviour, perception, cognitive development, non-verbal communication and the self. Unit 3 (Unit B543: Research in Psychology) looks at planning, doing and analysing research and investigations.

What skills do I need?

You need good literacy skills and an ability to understand scientific concepts.

How is the course assessed?

There are three examination papers on each of the three units. The papers for Unit 1 and Unit 2 last 1 hour 15 minutes and are worth 40% of the marks each. The paper of for Unit 3 lasts 1 hour and is worth 20% of the total marks.


OCR GCSE Psychology: Psychology First
By M. Billingham, D. Groves
Published by Hodder Arnold, ISBN 978-0435807702

Exam Board and Specification Code

OCR J611

Konstantinos Foskolos
Head of Department