Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences is a three year degree course covering a broad range of psychology, including behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, as well as the study of a typical development and adult psychopathology.

Why study Psychology at Christ's?

Students are hugely positive about their experiences studying this subject at Christ’s, not just because of our College’s friendly community feel, but because we offer excellent tutorial and cross-college support.

Undergraduates can join active research groups, such as the behavioural science lab and field studies run by Christ’s Director of Studies, Professor Theresa Marteau. These look at how changing behaviour can improve population health and are widely popular with students.

PBS graduates to date have gone on to study for further degrees, or to work as research or care assistants with a view to training as clinical psychologists. Information about becoming a psychologist is available on the British Pscyhological Society website.
 

Course content and structure

The PBS course (or ‘tripos’) is a three-year degree. Please visit the University website for full details of the Psychological and Behavioural Sciences course content and structure.

 

Teaching

You attend lectures at the Department of Psychology, just a short walk away from Christ’s (see map). You also have weekly ‘supervisions’ here in College. These small-group (or one-to-one) tutorial sessions are arranged by your Director of Studies and give you the advantage of personally-tailored guidance and tuition from an experienced supervisor. And our modern library is designed to ensure you get the peace you need without feeling isolated when you’re studying independently.

Christ’s Director of Studies for PBS is Professor Theresa Marteau, who is Director of the University’s Behaviour and Health Research Unit.

Dr Camilla Nord is a Bye-Fellow of the College and a supervisor in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences.
 

Student Q&A film
  Watch the Christ's student Q&A film

What do our students think?

Read about the experiences of students studying PBS here at Christ’s.

If you’d like to hear from other Christ's students, please watch the Christ's student Q&A film, and visit our Student Profiles page.

"Out of all of my papers this year, I thought that the most interesting essay I got to work on was either one on social norms, or another on non-traditional families, as I enjoyed being able to explore ongoing research."

Liz

How to Apply

Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.
 

News

Candidates applying in Oct 2021 are also advised to keep an eye on the Covid-19 disruptions page which will be updated through the year.


Subject requirements

There are no specific subjects that you must be studying at school to make an application for PBS, though students with A-level, IB Higher (or equivalent) Mathematics and/or a science subject may be more competitive than those without. We do not require you to be studying Psychology at school.

Interviews

Covid-19 update

For students applying in Sept / Oct 2021 the interviews will be online interviews. There is a page on the University website with more information about online interviews.


If we invite you for interviews, these usually take place in early December. Those invited for Cambridge interviews are normally interviewed for 35-50 minutes in total. At Christ’s, we usually split the time into two interviews with academics in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. During one of these, we’ll ask you to interpret a graph, solve a problem or comment on an essay question. 

For an idea of what to expect, please read the information and watch the short films on Cambridge admissions interviews.

We also hold interviews in a number of locations overseas. If this may be relevant for you, please see the international students section.

There will be no Admissions Assessment taken at interview for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Christ's College.

Offers

Christ's College does not have fixed quotas of places for different subjects and the exact numbers admitted in any one year will depend upon the strengths of the fields of applicants in various subjects. However, our aim is to make around three offers each year for PBS. 

Our typical conditional offer for PBS is A*AA at A level, 42 points overall in the IB with 7,7,6 in relevant Higher Level subjects, or the equivalent in other qualifications. If you are an international applicant taking another qualification, do look at the international students section for further information. If you apply after you have finished school and we give you the offer of a place, it will not normally have further academic conditions if you have already met our requirements. Further information is given on our page for post-qualification applications.

Helpful Resources

Additional in Coronavirus times (If you're studying Maths) MEI (Maths Education) resources for students studying at home
Psychology at Cambridge Short film
Reading suggestions Books you might enjoy reading that provide a general background to Psychological and Behavioural Sciences.
Theresa Marteau on The Life Scientific Theresa Marteau discusses how to change behaviour (a BBC Sounds registration needed to access this recording).
Psychology A-Z Exploring the range of Cambridge Psychology research

History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge

Film about one of the possible second year options (see routes into History & Philosophy of Science)
Advanced Mathematics Support Resources for students taking A-level Mathematics (or equivalent)
Gresham College Psychology lectures Free online lectures. You can search for terms such as Psychology, Biology, or Neuroscience.
The Psychologist The British Psychological Society magazine. You may also like to explore articles on Psychology in science publications such as Nature and New Scientist.
BPS Research Digest Blog. You can even sign up to get a weekly email with summaries and links
Nuffield Research Placements Year 12 opportunity to work on a summer research project. Strict eligibility criteria apply.
HE+ Psychology Website for secondary school students who would like to explore Psychology
CamGuides Introducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working.

"Both the best and the hardest thing about PBS is that it combines humanities and the sciences."

Oscar

Open Days and Online Events

Online events: Our open days and events page advertises online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge.

Coming to a College Open Day can help you get a feel for life at the College – and give you the opportunity to ask staff and students questions about the course in person.

 

Need more information?

For a full picture of what the course involves, take a look at Undergraduate Psychological and Behavioural Sciences admissions on the University website and read the PBS course overview for prospective students too.

If you have any queries at all, please contact us at admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk. We’ll be happy to advise.
 

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