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Course Code: SFVPY011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Gain practical insights into the field of psychology and its real-world applications in our Applied Psychology course. From understanding human development to designing behaviour change interventions, students explore how psychological theories can be translated into actionable strategies. 

On this engaging course, you'll develop a knowledge and understanding of key approaches and theories in psychology in order to apply them to various issues relevant to contemporary society. You will learn about approaches to psychology and the types and characteristics of health problems (such as addiction and stress). You will examine criminal and forensic psychology and approaches to treatment. In addition you'll explore the scientific process in psychological research methodology through conducting your own psychological research project.

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices.

Assessment of the BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology is 40% internally assessed and 60% externally assessed via examination.

Unit 1: Psychological Approaches and Applications (externally assessed via examination). In this unit learners will explore the four key approaches in Psychology - social, cognitive, learning and biological and will learn to apply these approaches to issues relevant to contemporary society. Learners will be asked to apply their understanding of psychological research and concepts in explaining gender identity, aggression and consumer behaviour.

Unit 2: Conducting Psychological Research (Internally assessed). Learners develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the scientific process and in psychological research methodology through their own project. This element of the qualification in particular would give learners a distinct advantage if they intend to study social science in Higher Education.

Unit 3: Health Psychology (externally assessed via examination). How is stress linked to illness? Why do people become addicted to behaviours or substances? Which factors influence whether people engage in healthy or unhealthy behaviours? These are the questions addressed by Health Psychologists, who are interested in how psychological and physiological factors affect health and ill-health. In this unit you will explore psychological concepts and research into stress and addiction. This unit explores the motivation behind healthy and unhealthy behaviours and the factors that might persuade individuals to finally change a behaviour or to follow the advice given by medical professionals.

Unit 4: Criminal & Forensic Psychology. In this unit you will examine the different explanations for offending & ways of preventing re-offending. You will complete a psychological report on different punishment & behaviour modification strategies.

Progression to year two of study will be dependent on successful completion of Unit 1 and Unit 2 in year 1.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Adele Richards by emailing

Studying Psychology provides an excellent subject qualification for many careers and you will be able to use it to progress to Higher Education. Universities recognise the research skills and the understanding of human behaviour that a Psychology qualification brings. Psychology forms a large part of a number of degree courses including nursing and healthcare, social work, teaching, criminal justice, sports science and business studies.

There are a wide range of undergraduate degrees available in Psychology both locally and further afield. Both Staffordshire and Keele University offer a variety of Psychology degree courses. The BTEC Certificate can also be combined with many other subjects, for example, Criminology, Sociology, Law, English, and History. Employment opportunities for Psychology graduates are wide ranging, including teaching, social work, counselling, employment within the National Health Service and many more.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18.

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved D*-D in 2023


What else do I need to know?

This course includes a wide variety of learning experiences, such as lectures, one to one tutorials, group work, discussions/debates and practical sessions. You will also have the opportunity to participate in several educational visits such as a trip to New York, including a visit to the United Nations, a visit to London, including a trip to the Freud Museum, and a trip to Alton Towers to conduct some psychological research.

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here