Applied Psychology BTEC - Certificate

L3 Level 3
Full Time
4 September 2024 — 23 June 2025
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

About this course

The course is an excellent introduction to applied psychology, allowing students to consider its importance across many aspects of our lives, including practical applications.

A psychology qualification allows the learner to develop a broad range of transferable skills such as critical thinking and writing along with access to a broad range of careers from counselling and therapy to forensics and law.

Assessments are in the form of one internal and one external assessment each year and topics studied include Psychological Approaches and Applications, and Criminal and Forensic Psychology.

What you will study

Unit 1 – Psychological Approaches and Applications

External assessment: 1.5 hour written examination

There are many ways to explain or understand human behaviour in order to treat it. This unit investigates how four of the main approaches in psychology help us do this from their different perspectives: Cognitive, Social, Behaviourist & Learning and Biological. Key concepts and relevant key studies will also be discussed and evaluated. The knowledge gained from each approach will be used to explain aggression in society, how psychology is used to explain and influence consumer behaviour, and how it can explain gender.

Unit 2 – Conducting Psychological Research

Internal assessment – Written assignment comprising of 3 reports

At heart, we are all armchair psychologists, but psychological research is not based on opinion and follows a rigorous scientific process. This unit identifies, analyses and applies the importance of this process. From its role in improving practice and informing policy, to ethical considerations involved in psychological research, and understanding the entire process from concept to completion. This unit culminates with students planning, preparing and completing their own pilot study.

Unit 3 – Health Psychology

External assessment: 2 hour written examination

Health psychologists are interested in how psychological and physiological factors affect health and ill health. This unit includes approaches, theories and studies that explore the reasons why individuals engage in specific behaviours such as addiction and why individuals may experience high levels of stress and the impact this has on health. In addition, the unit explores how health psychologists can help improve health behaviours using psychological theories of persuasion and learn about specific physiological and behavioural treatments.

Unit 4 – Criminal and Forensic Psychology

Internal assessment – Written assignment comprising of 3 reports

Are criminals born or made? This unit looks at a number of different explanations for criminal behaviour, linked to the approaches from unit 1, and analyse the best way to treat criminal behaviour; punishment or modification? Students will also learn about different methods of creating an offender profile and will create their own as part of the final assignment.

Entry requirements

Individual Subject Entry Requirement GCSE Math and English Grade C

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18.
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice.
  • Course fees are subject to change. Your fee will be confirmed prior to enrolment.
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print.
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers.
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information

Start date

4 September 2024

End date

23 June 2025

Time of day

Day Time

Full Time

4.5 hours per week


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
Maps & directions

Course code



Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Psychology

Career prospects & further study


Fantastic university progression routes! With hundreds of students gaining places at Oxbridge, Russell Group and other leading universities. In fact, this year more than 500 students achieved their firm or insurance choice through UCAS, with nearly 100 being Russell Group universities!

This course will enable progression onto university courses such as BA/BSc Psychology, Human Sciences, Counselling, Marketing or Criminology

Alternatively, the qualification allows learners to gain the required understanding and skills to be able to consider employment within some aspects of the criminal justice system, marketing, education and the civil service. A sought after qualification by many employers due to the development of transferable key skills such as critical thinking and writing.

Need to know



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Next steps

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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE