Exploring Psychology courses

Help with making an informed choice.

Female student reading in College room

There are quite a range of courses available that enable you to study Psychology, depending on whether your interests are more on the scientific side, the humanities side or a mixture of the two, and also depending on how much Psychology you'd like to do. Take time to make sure that you apply for the course which is right for you, since there may be opportunities that you have not considered. When you are looking at courses, we encourage you to explore the range of options so that you can make an informed decision and improve your chances of a strong application by picking the right course for your background and emerging interests.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS)

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences gives you the opportunity to study cognitive, social, developmental and biological psychology within the broader context of the behavioural sciences. Have a look at the course structure and note that as well as the specific psychology papers, you have the opportunity to take papers from other departments throughout the course, as a number of options are "borrowed" from other courses. For example, the first year Evolution and Behaviour option is a paper from Natural Sciences, and there are options from Human, Social and Political Sciences. Archaeology and Philosophy.

Subject to satisfactory performance on the course, the degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which is something you'll need if you want to go on to a career in Psychology.

There are no specific subjects that you must be studying at school to make an application for PBS at Christ's, though students with A-level, IB Higher (or equivalent) Mathematics and/or a science subject may be more competitive than those without. You don't need to be studying Psychology at school to apply for this course.

 

Natural Sciences

If you'd like to study Psychology alongside a broader range of pure science subjects you can do so within the Natural Sciences course, which has a first year 'Evolution and Behaviour' option as well as more specialised Psychology courses in the second and third years (Parts IB and II).

Subject to your choice of papers and satisfactory performance on the course, the degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which is something you'll need if you want to go on to a career in Psychology. The papers you will need to take for this are Natural Sciences IA Mathematical Biology, Natural Sciences IB Experimental Psychology and Natural Sciences Part II Psychology.

To apply for Natural Sciences you need a strong subject background in science (not including Psychology) and maths. Please check the subject requirements at Christ's if you are planning an application for Natural Sciences.

 

Human, Social and Political Sciences

If you enjoy essay subjects and then you may also consider Human, Social, and Political Sciences. This is a very flexible course allowing you to try a range of humanities subjects (including ones you may not have come across before) in first year before pursuing advanced study in one or two specific subjects in your second and third years. There is an option to take the Introduction to Psychology (from the Psychological and Behavioural Sciences course) as one of the first year papers, so if you want to try Psychology alongside other (often new) Humanities subjects, but not necessarily specialise in it, this course may suit you.

Have a look at the HSPS course structure to see whether this course is a good fit for your interests.

 

Education

When you apply for Education at Cambridge, you choose one of three "tracks". One of the tracks is Education, Psychology and Learning, which focuses on education from a psychological perspective, exploring human development and education in a variety of social and cultural environments. 

Subject to satisfactory performance and your paper choices on the course, this track is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which is something you'll need if you want to go on to a career in Psychology.

Applicants for Education at Christ's should take at least one A-level or IB Higher Level subject that is relevant to the track that you wish to study. See the subject requirements for more detail.


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