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.

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.



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.

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."


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.


University-wide statement: In order to minimise Covid-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can.

At Christ's we have a page for Coronavirus disruptions and applying this year - we recommend reading and then keeping an eye on it.

Students applying for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences in October 2020 will not sit a pre-interview Admissions Assessment (this is a change from last 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.


University-wide statement: In order to minimise Covid-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can. This does mean that there may be changes to the details of interviews below (which sets out what normally happens).

If we invite you for interview in Cambridge, you usually have two interviews (of about 25 minutes each) in early December. 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.


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.
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)
HE+ website Helpful enrichment resources if you’d like to explore the subject beyond the school curriculum
Gresham College Psychology lectures Free online lectures
The Psychologist The British Psychological Society magazine
Nuffield Research Placements Year 12 opportunity to work on a summer research project. Strict eligibility criteria apply.
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."


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 We’ll be happy to advise.

Back to the subject list / How to apply / Why choose Christ's?