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Psychology: Applied Psychology (Extended Certificate)

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind. It aims to explain why we behave the way we do. BTEC Psychology is suited to those who do not meet the entry requirements for A Level and for learners who prefer a more modular approach. Students will sit exams in both year 12 and year 13 and will be assessed through external exams and internally assessed coursework units.

Subject content

You will study the  BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in your first year and the Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology in your second year. (Pearson)

Psychological Approaches and Applications

In this unit students will be introduced to different approaches in psychology including the biological and cognitive approach. Students will develop an understanding of how psychological approaches, research and concepts can explain gender, aggression and consumer behaviour.

Conducting Psychological Research

Students will gain an understanding of the research process and the key methods used by researchers to test theories that provide information about how people think and behave. Students will carry out their own pilot study, and learn how to analyse their findings.

Health Psychology

In this unit students will explore how psychological theories and studies explain health behaviours. They will explore how stress and addiction develop and are maintained. They will look at lifestyle choices and health-related behaviours and also how psychology can be used to change behaviour.

Introduction to Psychopathology

Learners will be introduced to how psychopathology is differentiated from typical healthy functioning, Students will explore how society’s approach to mental illness has changed, for example the move from asylums to community care. Learners will explore causal factors and different approaches to treating mental disorders.

Please visit the awarding body webpage for further course specification


BTEC Nationals are assessed using a combination of internal assessments, which are set and marked by teachers, and external assessments which are set and marked by the exam board. This qualification is suited to learners who prefer less emphasis on external exams. In total exams make up approximately 60% of the final grade and coursework makes up 40%.

Progression opportunities

This qualification attracts UCAS points and is accepted by many universities. It is suitable for those who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment. Future areas of study could include; business and marketing, education and health care and also different areas of psychology such as forensic psychology.

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