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BTEC Applied Psychology

Level 3

Qualification: BTEC Extended Certificate

Duration: 2 Years

What will I study?

Psychology is the scientific study of minds and behaviour. As such, it is a part of our everyday lives. An understanding of human behaviour is fundamental to many jobs in society and a BTEC course in Psychology will not only help you academically, but also in developing an understanding of individuals and society.

You will begin by learning about the fundamentals of psychology – how psychologists collect their data and use their findings to benefit society. You will develop an understanding of psychological approaches which underpin professional practice, including the influence of the brain, genes and hormones on human behaviour.  Using theories, you will consider explanations for behaviours such as aggression, mental health disorders, and health-related lifestyle choices. You will plan and carry out research, evaluating the strengths and limitations of a variety of research methods.

There are four units in the course:

Unit 1: Psychological Approaches and Applications 

You will study underlying concepts of psychology and apply your knowledge to explain behaviours including gender identity, consumer behaviour and aggression.

Unit 2: Conducting Psychological Research 

You will learn how psychologists collect and analyse their data. You will also be given the opportunity to plan and conduct your own research project.

Unit 3: Health Psychology 

In this unit you will explore behaviours and lifestyle choices which affect health and wellbeing. Topics covered within this unit include stress and addiction including alcohol misuse, smoking, shopping and gambling.

Unit 4: Introduction to Psychopathology 

Psychopathology is the study of mental health. In this unit you will learn how mental health disorders are identified and treated. You will study a variety of mental health disorders including depression, phobias and schizophrenia.

Some of the key questions we will explore include:

  • What are the causes of criminal behaviour?
  • How can advertisements be made more effective?
  • Is gender determined by biology or experience?
  • How does stress effect the body?
  • Can you become addicted to shopping?
  • How can we support people with mental health disorders?


You will be assessed by a combination of internally assessed coursework and exams. Exams will make up approximately 60% of your final grade and coursework is worth approximately 40%.

You will complete one examined and one coursework unit, per year. Unlike a linear A level course, you will have the option to re sit both exams, if required.

Entry Criteria

Standard TRC Level 3 entry requirements including grade 4 in GCSE Science and 3 in Maths.

Useful Supporting Courses

BTEC Science, Criminology, BTEC Law, BTEC Business Studies, BTEC Health and Social Care.


This course will prepare you to work within the field of psychology supporting young people and adults with their psychological health and wellbeing. Skills developed on the course would be useful if you are choosing a career within the criminal justice service including working in prisons and with offenders. Business, advertising and media are also common career routes. BTEC Applied Psychology is accepted by many universities and could be the first steps towards a career as a Psychologist, which does require you to undertake further study at degree level.

Culture Vulture

Check out our Culture Vulture link to see what takes your interest.

BTEC Applied Psychology Culture Vulture

Flying start

Click the link and have a go at our 10-week learning plan to get you off to the best start.

BTEC Applied Psychology Flying Start 2021

Course Overview

Follow the link to see an introduction to the course, identifying what you will study with us in the first few months and what you might already know.

Applied Psychology Course Overview