Psychology – Further Information

Teaching & Learning

You will be encouraged to take an active approach to your study of Psychology. The most important skill that you will develop is a questioning approach to your studies, the ability to think for yourself and a greater understanding and empathy towards other people.

The emphasis is on active participation. You will be expected to be involved in lively debate, discussions, presentations and role-plays.

You will be encouraged to use IT and develop independent research skills.
The Psychology department is well stocked with a range of reference books, journals and videos (many made in the department!).

Psychology has an excellent record of strong A level results – Students excel in Psychology.


Brain Day @ The Polesworth School

On the 28th February, the Psychology Department hosted a Brain Day, run by the brilliant and charismatic Dr Guy Sutton.  Dr Sutton’s passion and enthusiasm for Neuroscience was certainly infectious and our students were hooked.  Students learnt about cutting edge research in this field and the latest brain scanning techniques.  They were fascinated to learn about how amazing the brain is and in particular about radical brain surgeries for Rasmussen Syndrome (a rare childhood brain disorder, leading to life threatening epilepsy) that involves removing a whole hemisphere of the brain.  Remarkably, due to the plasticity of the brain, patients do recover from this radical surgery and lead relatively normal lives, with their intellect intact.

The highlight of the seminar was the brain dissection.  Students were able to discover the similarities between a sheep brain and a human brain, they were surprised to discover that the only difference was one of scale, not function or structure.

The day was a huge success.  Students came away fascinated by Neuroscience and keen to discover more. Hopefully, some of our students will be inspired to read Neuroscience at University.


The Psychology Dept hosted a Forensic Psychology Seminar for Year 13 students. 

The day was led by Dr Guy Sutton an eminent psychologist from the University of Nottingham Medical School. This gave students a chance to further their own understanding of Forensic Psychology and a taster of what studying Psychology at University is really like.

During the day students had the opportunity to explore a number of topics; they were particularly interested in the forensic analysis session which included a very grisly video of an autopsy and blood splatter analysis.

Students were given the opportunity to examine real life cases such as Aileen Wuornos, the American serial killer, famously portrayed by Charlize Theron in the film Monster and the Zodiac killer.

The day showed students what forensics is really all about, it displaced their misconceptions, fed on a diet of unrealistic TV programmes such as CSI Miami.

The day was rounded off by a buffet lunch for those who still had an appetite for food!  The day was hugely enjoyed by all the students who took part.  They were enthused and motivated by Dr Sutton who really was an excellent presenter.

Behind Bars – True Life Conferences

All of Year 12 and Year 13 Psychology and Sociology students had the opportunity to meet Andy an ex-convict, guilty of murder. Andy was accompanied by Jill a Forensic Psychologist. Andy told us of his crime in 1990 and his time in prison. His insight and personal experience of prison life was particularly interesting and helpful towards our Psychology and Sociology A levels. We were told how life sentences were in fact 99 years with a tariff of a number of years. Andy’s tariff was 12 years, in which he was transferred to various prisons. His description of prison life was fascinating, we also learnt of the hostile treatment of sex offenders in prisons and the dangers for those inside. Andy interacted with the sixth formers and asked us about our views on rehabilitation and re-offending.

We were given detailed accounts of Andy’s time in prison and his thoughts and feelings about it, allowing us to see for ourselves the effects of prison on offenders and the possibility of rehabilitation. It was extremely interesting to see how offenders cope with life after prison, Andy was married, no longer a risk to society and fully committed to a law abiding life style, however his activities are still under supervision.

Overall, the session was definitely beneficial and would greatly benefit Psychology and Sociology students, especially if organised to be a full day programme.

Hannah Jackson
Year 13 Psychology Student

What The Students Say

“I didn’t know what to expect whilst going into Psychology, but it ended up being one of the most interesting subjects of my entire academic lifetime.” Nathan, Yr 13.

“Psychology lets you see life in new ways and you learn things that are useful throughout life.” Sydney, Yr 13.

“Psychology is an extremely interesting subject as it helps you to understand the possible reasons and motivations for people’s behaviour.” Sophie, Yr 13.

“Psychology is really interesting and it allows you to have an understanding of why people think and behave the way they do.” Izzy, Yr 13.

“Psychology is a great subject as it gives you insight into your own mind and behaviour. It also teaches you good education and work skills, as well as making you more aware of how your actions affect others.” Sophie, Yr 13.

“Psychology is great! It’s so interesting and is my favourite subject! The teachers are really easy to get on with and are really supportive.” Faith, Yr 13.

“I need Psychology for my uni degree, but I also find it really interesting and it is my favourite A-Level subject.” Niamh, Yr 13.

Future Prospects

Psychology can lead to specific careers in Industrial, Clinical, Educational or Forensic Psychology, counselling and therapy, but it is also a useful qualification to have if you are thinking of any career that involves dealing with people (almost anything!).

An understanding of psychological processes and principles would be useful in careers such as teaching, health service related occupations, law (including police) and social work. Psychology is a well-respected subject by University Admissions tutors.

For those of you interested in finding out more about psychology, a list of websites can be found at and then clicking on the links icon at the top of the page on the right.

For further information, please contact Mrs Dryburgh