Psychology as a university subject is going from strength to strength with over 106,000 students applying to read Psychology in the UK in 2014.


sychology graduates are increasingly sought-after in the workplace, and roles include clinical psychology, counselling, forensics, health psychology, educational psychology, sports psychology and human resources.

Psychology in the IB Diploma is a Group 3 subject, even though the actual focus of the course is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. The core of the course looks at the study of the mind and behaviour from three different perspectives:

  • The Biological Level of Analysis: Where explanations involve the roles of the brain, neurotransmitters, hormones and genes.
  • The Cognitive Level of Analysis: Where mental structures, and information processing are considered.
  • The Sociocultural Level of Analysis: Which looks beyond the individual to the influence of other people and situations on behaviour.

Following the core, pupils then apply these levels of analysis to a choice of optional topics. Higher Level pupils study two topics, Standard Level pupils only one. The optional topics are:

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Health psychology
  • The psychology of human relationships

The internal assessment task for Psychology involves replicating a classic experiment in a simplified form: planning, conducting and then writing-up a piece of research. At Standard Level the experiment can be replicated without innovation, whereas at Higher Level modifications are expected. At Higher Level the analysis of results is also more comprehensive and involves the use of inferential statistics.

The IB Diploma course aims to produce effective, sensitive, intellectually curious learners. There is also a strong focus on developing critical thinking skills, and fostering intercultural understanding and respect.


Julia Adlam

(Head of Department) PhD, University of Hamburg; Dipl.-Psych, University of Hamburg.

Rachel Bellamy

BA, Loughborough University; MA, Open University
Adam Moffatt

BSC, Oxford Brookes University

Nic Bond

BSC Cardiff Metropolitan University, PGCE Buckingham University

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