Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS) at Cambridge gives you the opportunity to study cognitive, social, developmental and biological psychology within the broader context of the behavioural sciences.

The course covers, for example, cognitive psychology, psychopathology, language, brain mechanisms, family relationships and influences, personality, statistics and data-science, and group social behaviour. A wide range of options enable you to study the topics that interest you most in greater depth.

In the first year, students study three compulsory papers introducing psychology concepts and methods, and one other paper selected from a range of options associated with psychology (for example biological anthropology, evolution and behaviour, politics, philosophy, sociology).

The second year develops students’ theoretical understanding and research skills further, with two compulsory papers covering classic and contemporary theory and research in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, and in developmental psychology, and two optional papers that allow students to begin to specialise in those areas that interest them. In the third year, students undertake a research project in one of the Department's laboratories, as well as selecting three further papers on advanced psychology topics.

A gap year is acceptable, if you have a clear objective in mind for it. It can help to broaden your outlook on life, and for many people it proves to be very valuable, but it may carry the risk of losing touch with the academic way of life, and some people find when they finally get to university that they have lost the habit of studying and have forgotten some of their scientific knowledge. However, it rarely takes very long to get back into the swing of things.

Admissions Information

Standard Offer: A-level - A*A*A; IB - 776 at Higher Level, 42 points overall; Advanced Highers: A1A1A2; other exam systems.
Course Requirements: A-level/Higher Level Biology or Mathematics is essential. Previous study of Psychology is neither particularly recommended nor a disadvantage.
Course Outline: Further details are available on the Department's website.
Applying: For information on how to apply: University application process and Emmanuel application timeline.
Admissions Assessment: This College does not require applicants to take an assessment for this subject.

Candidates should normally expect two interviews. The interviews will take place during the period Monday 4 - Wednesday 13 December 2023. Specific subject dates will be emailed to applicants in November.

Course Enquiries: Emmanuel Admissions Office