Home » Applying » Subjects

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS)

Groups:

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences is a three-year course covering social, developmental, biological and behavioural psychology within the broader context of the Behavioural Sciences. If you are interested in studying subjects such as the development of social behaviour, psychopathology, cognitive psychology, language, brain mechanisms, gender, family relationships and influences, personality and group social behaviour amongst many other topics, then this could be the course to choose.

Course Outline

In the first year (Part I), students take two compulsory papers introducing them to psychology and psychological inquiry and methods, and two optional papers selected from Humans in Biological Perspective; Language, Communication and Literacy; Evolution and Behaviour; Analysis of Politics; British Economic History; and an introduction to Computer Science.

In the second year (Part IIA) all students take four papers. Everybody studies Social Psychology plus a specialist paper chosen from a range of about nineteen options including Biological or Social Anthropology, Sociology, Criminology, the Sociology of Education etc. For the two remaining papers students can either take Biological and Cognitive Psychology and a second specialist topic, or choose Experimental Psychology and undertake a research project (assessed by a 5,000 word essay).

In the final year (Part IIB) all students undertake a research dissertation (6,000 - 10,000 words) on a psychology topic of their choice as well as three further papers which may be selected from the Part IIA specialist list which includes Development and Psychopathology, Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, or additional Psychology papers.

Further details of the course and options are available on the Cambridge Admissions website.

Directors of Studies

Dr Kate Plaisted Grant - Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS)

Subject Fellows

College Research Associates

Dr Paul Cocker

Entry Requirements

There are no particular subject requirements: Mathematics, science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and humanities subjects will all be useful preparation for this course and Psychology is not a requirement.
The standard typical offer level is A*AA


Those invited for interview will have at least two interviews: a general one to discuss their application in general terms, and at least one, possibly two, more specifically academic interviews. The aim of these interviews, which last about 20-30 minutes each, is to establish your motivation and aptitude for your proposed studies. We try to conduct our interviews in a friendly and informal manner, and you should not feel daunted by the prospect of them. 

Pre-Interview Assessment

Applicants for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences will need to sit the University's Pre-Interview Admissions Assessment, more information on which is available here.

Victoria Buchholz
Hailing from San Diego, California, I didn’t fully understand the importance of choosing a college when I was applying to Cambridge. My decision to apply to John’s was influenced by the fact that my father had greatly enjoyed his graduate studies there, and also, I’d heard that John’s had the best food!However, as I finish my degree in Psychology, I can wholeheartedly say that applying to John’s...