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Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos


Please be advised that the PBS course structure will be changing from the 2024-25 academic year onwards. The information below is split based the year students enter the course.


For students who matriculated prior to the 2024-25 academic year

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 Biological Anthropology, the History and Philosophy of Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy and Sociology.


  • Papers: a list of papers available in Part IB in 2023-24.


For students admitted to the PBS course from the 2024-25 academic year onwards

Part IB provides specialised training in Developmental Psychology and Biological Psychology, in addition to further developing the research skills for your third year project. 

You take four papers in total, two of which are compulsory:

  • PBS04: Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PBS05: Developmental Psychology

The optional papers are selected from a broad range. The subjects may change from year to year but typically include papers in:

  • biological and social anthropology
  • history and philosophy of science
  • sociology
  • neurobiology
  • philosophy
  • education

You will be assessed via a range of laboratory reports, and written exams.