In the second year, students take four papers. This year provides a foundation for the research-led teaching of the final year while also allowing students to begin to specialise in those areas that interest them.
All students take the following paper:
PBS 3: Social and Developmental Psychology
PBS 4: Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Every process in the mind is the result of underlying biology. This paper covers a selection of biological and cognitive topics involving the connection of brain, body, and behaviour. Specific content includes neurophysiology and structure of the brain, learning, memory, judgment and decision making, consciousness, and atypical psychology. Lectures include relevant methodologies and methodological issues. Students are expected to read in depth, as well as broadly, and to bring their independent perspective and insight to the material at hand.
PBS 5: Experimental Psychology
This paper aims to give a broad understanding of different approaches to the study of mind and behaviour, and the forms of evidence and levels of explanation provided by modern experimental psychology. It includes work on sensory processes and perception (especially vision and hearing), attention and the control of action, language and cognitive processes, learning and memory, cognitive and social development, intelligence, reasoning and problem solving, cognitive neuropsychology and psychopathology. Lectures on this course are supplemented by practical laboratory classes, for which students are required to submit written reports as part of their assessment.
PBS 6: Research Methods
Research labs within the Department of Psychology each present a lecture on a particular research method used in their group, explaining the advantages of the method and examples of it being used in published papers. Students are assessed by a 2,000 word essay, critiquing one of the papers presented in the lecture series, having been taught how to critique papers at the beginning of the year.
The list of optional papers may vary from year to year but will typically include papers in:
- Biological anthropology
- History and philosophy of science
- Social anthropology
With the exception of PBS 6, students sit a written exam in each paper at the end of the year.