Course Information

Course Title: Psychology

Course Level: H


Psychology is the study of people's behaviour, thoughts, feelings and motivations.

The course consists of three areas of study:

Individual behaviour

Candidates analyse individual behaviour, investigate topics and learn how these topics can be explained using psychological theories and research evidence. Candidates evaluate and apply theories to show an understanding of individual human behaviour.

Social behaviour

Candidates analyse how interaction with others shapes social behaviour. They investigate psychological explanations for social behaviour, and use research evidence to analyse how the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals are influenced by their social environment. Candidates apply psychological knowledge and understanding to explain examples of everyday social behaviour.


Candidates understand and apply the research process and research methods used in psychology. They develop the skills required to conduct and evaluate psychological research. Candidates also develop numerical skills and an understanding of psychological terminology.

This area of study is not assessed in a separate section of the question paper, however questions relating to research can be asked in the individual and social behaviour sections of the question paper. In addition, candidates must carry out research for the assignment.

Purpose and aims

The course enables candidates to develop an understanding of the psychological study of the human mind and behaviour in a range of contexts, and enhances their ability to use evidence to explain behaviour.

The course develops candidates’ understanding of psychology as the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychology is a research-based subject, and it provides the opportunity to conduct practical research, including working with human participants in accordance with ethical standards.

Candidates develop:

  • knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, and terminology
  • the ability to use thinking skills when analysing, evaluating and applying knowledge and understanding of psychology
  • understanding of the role of research evidence in explaining human behaviour
  • research skills to select, organise, interpret and evaluate information
  • the ability to plan and carry out psychological research, using appropriate methods and according to ethical and scientific standards
  • communication and numeracy skills used in psychology

Who is this course for?

The course is suitable for all candidates with an interest in finding out more about the human mind and behaviour. Candidates should be interested in developing their thinking, research and communication skills. They do not need to have prior experience of studying psychology.

The course provides candidates who progress from National 5 Psychology with the breadth, challenge and application required to develop their research and thinking skills, and their knowledge of psychology.