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Year 3 (Part IIB)

PBS students take three papers in their third year, and all must complete PBS 7: Research Dissertation, a 6 to 10,000 word write-up of empirical psychological research they have completed. None of the papers are compulsory, however at least one must be chosen from PBS 8 - 14. A list of optional papers available to students is published before the end of the previous academic year, but choices normally includes papers on social, developmental and experimental psychology, sociology, biological anthropology, philosophy, criminology, education, linguistics and the history and philosophy of science.


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

Transferring students

It is possible for students in their second year in another Tripos to transfer into Part IIB of the PBS Tripos. In doing so they will have to complete the year as a typical PBS student, so would submit a dissertation and take three papers on advanced topics. Such students who transfer would not have completed the compulsory papers in Part I or Part IIA of the PBS Tripos, therefore they would not graduate with eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society. Because of this the PBS Management Committee strongly discourages any student from transferring into the third year of the PBS Tripos directly. Instead, it is recommended that students transfer into Part IIA.