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Photo: Allan Ajifo. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

  • Number of students per year: two to three
  • Typical offer: A*AA or equivalent
  • Essential subjects: none
  • Useful subjects: Biology, Mathematics, Psychology

Jesus College has a resident Fellow who specialises in Experimental Social Psychology: Dr Simone Schnall, an expert on the interaction of cognitive and affective processes.

We encourage our students to develop their own interests within a supportive and challenging intellectual environment. Psychology is unique as a discipline because it spans a wide range of topic areas that can be approached from a biological perspective and a social science discipline.

The University has published a video explaining what PBS is like at Cambridge. At Cambridge we emphasise the scientific study of Psychology and its link to other areas of study, which can be chosen as optional modules. In this way, our undergraduates have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and develop independence of thought and pleasure in intellectual engagement with the material.

The College has first rate study facilities, such as the Quincentenary Library, which has an excellent stock of textbooks and more advanced readings in Psychology and related areas, as well as a number of anatomical models that are useful for the study of the brain and neuroscientific investigation.

Our Psychology graduates find employment in a very wide range of professions because they develop a variety of skills that are popular with prospective employers, like the ability to analyse quantitative data, a skill that is extensively practiced in the form of statistical methods and research methods.

We're also very pleased to be able to welcome some of our graduates back as postgraduate students, in the first instance for the MPhil Degree in Social and Developmental Psychology, or as PhD students.

Find out more on the University webpage.


Our typical offer is for an A* and two A grades at A-Level or equivalent. 

There are no essential subjects you must have studied to read Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS) as the degree covers a great diversity of topics. The main requirement for studying PBS is that you have a passion for learning about the underlying causes of human experience and behaviour. 

Psychology A-Level would be useful, and Biology and Mathematics will also give you a good foundation as they can help you develop the necessary logical thought and critical analysis skills.


No specialist knowledge is required, but we expect you to have explored your interest in the subject.

Written assessment

There is currently no written admissions assessment for Psychological and Behvioural Sciences. 


In light of Covid we are currently reviewing whether we shall be holding virtual or College-based interviews and will provide further details in the future.

In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff, all 2020 interviews were held online. A typical virtual interview for PBS usually consists of two 25 minute online interviews with the Director of Studies for PBS and subject Fellows. The interviews aim to assess your intellectual ability, enthusiasm, and commitment to the subject. They usually include some exercises designed to assess your aptitude to think creatively and logically about psychology, but no previous knowledge is expected. However, this format may change depending on government guidelines for 2021.

There is the possibility that interviews this year could take place in College or virtually once more. We will provide further details as soon as we are able.

Written work

You don't need to submit any written work.

Deferred and post A-Level entry

We're happy to consider applications for either immediate or deferred entry, or from applicants who have already taken their A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. The College also welcomes applications from mature students.

Find out how to apply to study at Jesus.


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