Psychological and Behavioural Sciences is an exciting, broad and flexible degree that covers all aspects of psychology.
Psychology is very diverse – overlapping with and contributing to many other disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy and sociology.
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, gender, family relationships and influences, personality, and group social behaviour. A wide range of options enable you to study the topics that interest you most in greater depth.
In the Department of Psychology, you’re taught by lecturers and researchers of international excellence. Subject societies and seminar programmes offer regular talks from guest speakers too.
In addition to this academic expertise, you have access to the Department library and specialist collections held in associated departments’ libraries – amounting to around 50,000 books and more than 150 periodicals – as well as other resources and computing facilities.
The University’s teaching of psychology is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This means that students who successfully graduate (with at least second class Honours) achieve the ‘graduate recognition’ needed to pursue a career in psychology.
Many students continue with further study and research, and graduates are eligible for admission to professional courses in clinical, educational, forensic or applied psychology. Numerous past students of psychology at Cambridge have gone on to prominent positions in psychology and related fields throughout the world.
Our course also equips you with skills and knowledge applicable in a range of professional sectors. Other recent graduates have entered careers in the media, management, the Civil Service, finance, law and business.
Teaching is provided through lectures, classes or seminars, and supervisions. Some papers include a practical element, which takes place in laboratories.
You can typically expect two lectures a week for each paper. You also have one or two supervisions a week to discuss your work and develop your reasoning and ideas.
In Part IA, you take a total of four papers, two of which are compulsory:
The remaining two papers are chosen from a selection of up to nine options. The optional papers available each year may vary but subjects usually include:
At the end of the year, you sit a three-hour written examination in each paper.
Part IB provides a foundation for the research-led teaching of the final year while also allowing you to begin to specialise in those areas that most interest you.
You take four papers in total. All students take:
The optional papers are selected from a range of around 19 available. The subjects may change from year to year but typically include papers in:
You sit a written exam in each paper at the end of the year.
In your final year, you undertake a research dissertation of 7,000 words on a psychology topic of your choice. You also choose a further three papers from a selection available, each of which is assessed by a written examination.
The subject of these papers may change from year to year but typically include the following topics:
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for PBS at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).
You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment – the registration deadline is Sunday 15 October 2017.
Your living expenses may be higher than for a Home student (eg if you stay in Cambridge/the UK during vacations). The minimum resources needed in Cambridge for the year (excluding tuition and College fees) are estimated to be approximately £10,080 in 2017-18 and £10,310 in 2018-19, depending on lifestyle (you should allow for increases in future years).