Psychological & Behavioural Sciences (PBS)
Trinity College is delighted to invite applications for undergraduates to be admitted into the PBS Tripos, by the UCAS deadline of 16 October 2023 to commence studies in October 2024.
The highly popular PBS course at Cambridge is in its sixth year. Trinity College has a proud history of accepting students in the sciences who over the centuries have gone on to become leaders in every field of science, winning the highest prizes.
In PBS at Trinity we are looking to attract students who love data, love biology, have an unstoppable curiosity about how the brain and mind work, and who can think about how to integrate social and biological factors to understand the human behaviour. We are here to train the next generation of psychologists, neuroscientists, and to provide a platform for those who want to translate their knowledge of the mind and brain to help society and to change the world.
The PBS course covers the full range of psychology, including behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, as well as the study of atypical development and adult psychopathology. Psychology is simultaneously a social science, a natural science, and a medical science, and the PBS course explores each of these aspects. It is of recognized value in many careers, ranging from clinical or educational psychology, through to the design of new technologies, science documentary making, or working in the criminal justice system.
While there are a number of compulsory psychology papers, students have plenty of choice, with options such as the development of social behaviour, atypical psychology, cognitive psychology, language, brain mechanisms, gender, family relationships and influences, personality, and group social behaviour.
Research projects and a dissertation also enable students to study in greater depth the topics that interest them most. Example projects involve brain and language, gender, neuroscience, personality, autism, depression, ageing, social interaction, hearing, memory, and visual cognition.
Within the course, there is also the flexibility to pursue related disciplines such as politics, sociology, archaeology, biological and social anthropology, computer science, philosophy, natural sciences, economics, and education.
Students are taught by lecturers and researchers of international excellence in the field of psychology. Seminar programs throughout the year offer regular talks from guest speakers. In addition to academic expertise, students have access to extensive library and computing facilities. In the Guardian’s University guide 2020, the Good University Guide 2020, and the Complete University Guide 2020, Cambridge is consistently ranked in the top 5 universities for psychology.
The University’s psychology teaching is accredited by the British Psychological Society. Graduates are therefore eligible for admission to professional courses in clinical, educational, forensic, applied, or academic psychology. Numerous past students of psychology at Cambridge have gone on to prominent positions in psychology research and related fields throughout the world.
Typical offers in most Cambridge colleges for the course are A*AA at A Level. Equivalent qualifications are also considered – see the Undergraduate Study website for details. At least one of those A Levels must be in Maths, Biology, Physics or Chemistry. On average 380 applications for PBS per year across all colleges are received and 80 offers are made. Trinity College expects to admit 3 or 4 students into the course each year, but that will vary depending on the applications we receive.
After you have submitted your UCAS application online you will be prompted to provide some additional information in an additional questionnaire. If you wish to defer entry, you should indicate this on your UCAS application. If you have a good examination record and a favourable reference, you are likely to be invited to interview. Interviewers want to see how you work through problems and take on new ideas, and to find out more about you. This is an important part of our selection procedure.
For more about the PBS course in Cambridge: http://www.pbs.tripos.cam.ac.uk/structure
Frequently asked questions about the course:
Note that there are other routes to studying psychology at Cambridge, one being within the Natural Sciences (NST) course (www.cam.ac.uk/about/natscitripos) and another being within Medicine.
- Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
- Dr Tanya Procyshyn