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Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos


Statement on PBS Part I teaching for 2020-2021 

Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and government guidance, we have had to make some changes to the way we deliver our programme in order to mitigate against risks to health and to give you the best possible academic experience in the circumstances. We will continue to monitor and respond to the changing public health situation.  

We are conducting a consultation with all our students this summer about our plans for delivering our programme under the current circumstances. We will be providing you with more information at the start of the academic year, and as the year progresses. At every point, we are encouraging students to provide feedback to ensure we are aware of the student learning experience and to allow any changes to be made if necessary.

The planned changes are:  

All lectures will be delivered online. They will be delivered at the timetabled slots and will be recorded. We expect all students to attend the lectures remotely as a group, in the same way they attend usually lectures in the lecture theatres.

Practical classes will include a mixture of in-person sessions (with reduced class sizes, and subject to government guidelines on social distancing), and more interactive online sessions. As with your lectures these sessions will take place during the slot timetabled for your practical group, whether in person or online.

Submitted coursework will be submitted online and you will be issued submission instructions to follow.

Full details of how the course will be run will be provided later in the summer via the Moodle Site and sessions held at the beginning of term by the teaching team and course organisers.

Supervisions will still be provided, although the format will be variable.

Please note: For changes to borrowed papers, please consult the relevant department's website.


PBS students take four papers in their first year. Two papers are compulsory: PBS 1: Introduction to Psychology and PBS 2: Psychological Enquiry and Methods. The other two papers can be chosen from a varied list of choices which normally includes papers on Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Evolution and Behaviour, Mathematical Biology, Philosophy, Sociology and Politics.

Documentation for 2020-21 will be added over the summer.


  • Part IA handbook for 2020-21. The handbook provides students with detailed information on all aspects of the Part IA course.
  • Papers. A list of papers available in Part IA.
  • The PBS Tripos - Part IA Moodle site (Psychology Tripos students only) contains lecture handouts and other useful documents, including links to a selection of the material referenced on the reading lists, available electronically.