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Psychology (HL and SL)

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It has roots in both the natural and social sciences, leading to a variety of research designs and applications. It provides a unique approach to understanding modern society.  

Psychology is a fascinating subject in its own right offering a broad insight into the workings of the mind as well as supporting a range of other subjects, such as English, Biology, History, Philosophy and Theory of Knowledge. In our teaching we draw on real-life examples and offer stimulating, interactive lessons.   

Course content

Students learn to think critically at a number of levels, to write discursively and will develop their research skills. Students should have an enquiring mind, and an interest in behaviour.  

Standard Level Higher Level
  • Exploration of biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches to explaining behaviour  

  • Research methods  

  • Conducting a simple experimental study.  

  • Psychology of human relationships.  

  • Psychology of mental health  

  • Exploration of biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches to explaining behaviour  

  • The use of animal models to investigate behaviour  

  • The influence of digital technology on behaviour 

  • Research methods 

  • Conducting a simple experimental study

  • Psychology of human relationships and mental health in more depth than standard level



Standard Level  

Higher Level  

Internal assessment  

Experimental study (25%)  

Experimental study (20%)  

External assessment  

Approaches to Psychology (50%) Options (25%)  

Approaches to Psychology (40%)  

Approaches to research (20%)  

Options (20%)  


Specialist lectures (Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology), covert observational study of behaviour, visit to UCL’s Wellcome Centre for Neurology, Royal Holloway Psychology competition.  

Further study

Many of our students go on to study Psychology at university, including Experimental Psychology at Oxford and Clinical Psychology at Exeter. 

I chose IB psychology as a brand new subject, so I started out totally clueless. However, I quickly learned the main concepts and it shortly became my favourite subjects! It’s amazing to learn new things about human behaviour and how we are affected by the world around us - it makes you realise such fascinating things about yourself, whilst gaining skills in critical thinking and essay writing! Student

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