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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 three papers in their third year, and all must complete PBS 5: Research Dissertation, a write-up of empirical psychological research they have completed. None of the papers are compulsory, however, at least one must be chosen from PBS 6 - 10. A list of optional papers available to students is published before the end of the previous academic year. Psychology options normally includes papers in social, developmental and experimental psychology. External options normally include papers in Biological Anthropology, Criminology, the History and Philosophy of Science, Philosophy and Sociology.


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

BBS Students may take PBS 7 and PBS 8 as a minor within Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences.


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

In your final year, you undertake a research dissertation of 7,000 words from a range of topics across the psychological sciences. You also choose a further three papers from a selection available, each of which is assessed via a range of assessments, including written and oral exams. 

The subject of these papers may change from year to year but typically include the following topics:

  • social and developmental psychology
  • cognitive and experimental psychology
  • behavioural and cognitive neuroscience
  • criminology
  • selected subjects from those offered at Part IB