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Year 2 (Part IIA)

PBS students take four papers in their second year. Two papers are compulsory, PBS 3: Social and Developmental Psychology, and PBS 4: Cognitive Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology. Students then choose two further optional papers. A list of optional papers available to students is published before the end of the previous academic year, but choices normally includes papers on Sociology, Neurobiology, Social and Biological Anthropology, the History and Philosophy of Science, Philosophy, and Education.


Please note resources for 2016/17 will be available nearer the start of term.

  • Papers 2015/16. A list of papers available in Part IIA and their Paper Guides.
  • E-Learning Resources: The PBS Tripos - Part IIA Moodle site contains lecture handouts and other useful documents, including links to a selection of the material referenced on the reading lists, available electronically..

Affiliated or transferring students

For affiliated students, or students who are transferring into PBS Part II from a different Tripos, there are restrictions on what papers can be offered in Part IIA. Students must offer PBS 1 and PBS 2, from PBS Part I, if they have not previously offered these papers. Because of this affiliated students can only offer PBS 1, PBS 2, PBS 3 and PBS 4 for Part IIA. In exceptional circumstances the PBS Tripos Management Committee can give permission for a student to not offer PBS 1 or PBS 2.

By requiring students to offer PBS 1 & 2, a student who completes Part II of the PBS Tripos will have received the same psychological teaching as a typical PBS student, and therefore would still be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society (having met all other requirements).