Dr John Lawson
Fellow, Director of Studies
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.
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.
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.
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.