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Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

Girton has a strong and diverse psychology community.

Why choose Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Girton?

Girton is enthusiastic about Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS) and is ideally placed to offer excellent support for students entering this course. There are three fellows in Psychology whose own research and teaching expertise covers social psychology, cognitive and comparative psychology, developmental disorders, perception, clinical psychology, psychiatry, and memory and tool use in animals. There is also a specialisation in the area of autism spectrum conditions and the Dark Triad model of human personality.

Fellows in other disciplines also have skills and experience relevant to PBS and provide specific expertise for the statistical and methodological parts of the course.

Students will have the opportunity to interact with large cohorts taking Human, Social and Political Sciences and Biological Natural Sciences, and students studying Philosophy or Medical Sciences, who can also study psychology papers. We therefore anticipate a strong and diverse psychology community within the college with excellent links to other subjects and to University Departments.

Undergraduate Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

  • No. of students admitted per year: 4
  • Entry Requirements: All entry requirements are A-Level standard or equivalent unless otherwise stated. Mathematics to at least AS level is highly desirable.
  • Typical offer: A*AA
  • Assessment arrangements: There is no written assessment for this subject at Girton College.
  • Interview arrangements: Applicants for PBS will have two interviews with two interviewers in each interview. The interviews will cover social, biological and mathematical reasoning skills and general academic ability.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences undergraduate information

PBS students will take two compulsory psychology papers at Part I, and two further papers borrowed from HSPS; Natural Sciences; Philosophy or Computer Science. At Part II students have a choice of emphasis within their psychology papers and may continue to borrow optional papers from the same Triposes as Part I. Studying PBS will allow specialisation in psychology for all three years, which has not been possible before. It will also allow science-oriented students to study psychology without having to fulfil the requirement of the Natural Sciences Tripos for high performance in chemistry and molecular biology.

Supervisions can be provided for all the core psychology papers by Girton fellows themselves, and for more specialised supervisions the Girton psychology fellows are well placed to arrange supervisors from the Psychology Department and elsewhere.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences postgraduate information

Girton’s graduate community is large (200+ students from all subjects); it is also energetic, friendly and cosmopolitan. There is a good mix of MPhil and PhD candidates on taught courses and studying for degrees by research.

All College facilities are available for graduate use; most accommodation is located at Swirles Court.

Research and postgraduate students are admitted to the University by the Board of Graduate Studies. You must therefore apply centrally and not to the College, however you must be admitted to a College to be able to study at the University. To ensure that this is Girton you need to indicate this on your application form.

Career destinations

Clinical Psychology, academic research careers and Educational Psychology are careers particularly well-suited to PBS graduates and information about these can be found on the Psychology Department with links to more specific information. The combination of clinical and academic experience of the Girton psychology fellows will enable guidance and discussion to take place at all stages of the course for Girton PBS students.

PBS graduates will also be well-prepared for many careers not directly involving the subject. Girton Psychology graduates have in the past gone on to a range of other careers including medicine (via a graduate medicine course), TV advertising and Charity policy management.

British Psychological Society provides further information on careers in psychology.

Girton stories

Lara Parizotto

Human, Social, and Political Sciences

The bursaries I have received from Girton have been really helpful in keeping me focused on my degree and not worrying as much about financial stress. They have assured me that I will be able to pay for my living costs for the whole academic year. As someone who worked on the Telethon Campaign I am really appreciative of these bursaries and how much alumni donors care about the College and the students who are here. Thank you so much for your contribution to Girton