Applied Psychology A Level BTEC

L3 Level 3
Full Time
7 November 2022 — 16 June 2024
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

About this course

The BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Psychology is designed for post-16 learners wanting to continue their education through applied learning, and who aim to progress to HE and/or employment, possibly in psychology.

What you will study

Unit 1 – Psychological Approaches and Applications (taught in Year 1)

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, 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 (taught in Year 1)

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 (taught in Year 2)

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 (taught in year 2)

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.

Teaching and assessment methods

  • Unit 1 – Psychological Approaches and Applications
    • External assessment: 1.5 hour written examination
  • Unit 2 – Conducting Psychological Research
    • Internal assessment – Written assignment comprising of three reports
  • Unit 3 – Health Psychology
    • External assessment: 2 hour written examination
  • Unit 4 – Criminal and Forensic Psychology
    • Internal assessment – Written assignment comprising of three reports

The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to admission requirements to many relevant applied psychology courses. Many of the learners on the programme have progressed to university.  

Course fee per year

Part-time enrolment fee: £0.00

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

7 November 2022

End date

16 June 2024

Time of day

Day Time

Full Time

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

The qualification carries UCAS points and if it is taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two-year programme of learning, then it is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses. 

It can support access to higher education courses, other courses being undertaken will also be considered.  The qualification can also lead to direct employment or apprenticeship.

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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE