Teaching psychology through video from BBC Active

Psychology is an ever-popular option for students to choose at A Level or for university degrees, and can lead to career opportunities within a diverse range of fields including clinical, counselling, educational or forensic psychology. The subject of psychology also strengthens critical thinking and understanding of human behaviour, and in this respect, gives young people a unique insight into the workings of the mind. This, in turn, develops key awareness and interpersonal skills for the future. The study of psychology also complements other science degrees and assists with fine-tuning and progressing research skills.


Teachers can bring the field of psychology alive in the classroom by using case studies and psychology videos to engage and excite students about their subject. In this article, we look at the outstanding range of educational videos available from BBC Active Video for Learning; ideal tools when teaching psychology to inspire the next generation of students.

Into the Mind 

Into the Mind is a fascinating series of videos that take a fresh look at the range of techniques and methods used to reveal how our minds work. Scientists have long focused on unlocking the true power and secrets of the human mind; this series uncovers some of the more unusual and disturbing ways that science has furthered psychological discovery and exploration. Into the Mind consists of three educational videos: Mind Control, Broken Brains and Emotions. In these compelling videos, Dr Michael Mosley delves into the world of experimental psychology – his research reveals terrifying results, including the use of fatal electric shocks and behavioural changes in children led by scientists. These videos are challenging and sometimes deeply unsettling, but provide a unique perspective on the complex world of experimental psychology. This series is a high-quality resource for teaching psychology in the classroom and will spark a range of discussions and debates.


Psychological Profiling

The video Psychological Profiling is part of the BBC documentary series The Science of Crime which examines the role that science and psychology plays in solving crimes. In particular, this video showcases the psychological aspect of forensics, where investigators can study the mind as well as the usual forensic clues that may be found at the scene of the crime. This video is especially of interest to students who may be considering careers in forensic psychology, and is also an ideal opportunity to outline how complex the field of psychology really is.


Who are we 

This ground-breaking video forms part of the History of Science series which explores the journey of science throughout history. Who are we focuses on how the human brain and its potential and power was hardly studied until the 17th Century, and since then the fields of psychology and brain anatomy have often clashed in the understanding of what makes us human and how our brains really work. But these two sciences are now more closely aligned than ever before, uncovering some remarkable insights into the processes of thoughts and feelings. This video is an excellent opportunity for students to discuss the relationship between psychology and brain anatomy, how perceptions of these have changed over history and what recent discoveries mean for the future.


Finding My Mind

The educational video Finding My Mind examines the connections between science and psychology – an age-old debate that is as relevant to today’s classrooms as it ever was. The question around how our biological brains can shape our subjective minds has been asked by philosophers for centuries, and neuroscientists have uncovered some surprising answers. Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford Marcus du Sautoy undertakes a journey of discovery inside his own mind, which includes putting himself forward for some unique neuroscience experiments – and tries to uncover the true meaning of free will and where it comes from. This video is guaranteed to encourage students to ask searching questions, designed to find out if we really are who we think we are.


Psychology is a truly diverse subject which opens up multiple career pathways and teaches pupils to understand both themselves and those around them – this empowers students to be able to successfully engage with people at all levels. These videos on psychology are designed to educate, excite and challenge students to appreciate how the science of psychology has changed over the centuries and help them discover how it fits into today’s society.


BBC Active Video for Learning offers a comprehensive range of high quality educational videos focused on teaching psychology, science and a wide range of other topics. These teaching resources will enhance your next class or lecture and are available in DVD format.