Psychology at Cambridge is a scientific topic, and it follows that it is a hypothesis driven subject and requires an evidence based approach. It involves the rigorous formulation and testing of ideas and if you enjoy study through experiments and systematic observation rather than introspection then this course may be something that is ideally suited to you.
When applying to Oxbridge, you will have to complete a UCAS form before the October 15th deadline. Candidates are only allowed to apply to one of Oxford or Cambridge, and they can choose to apply to a particular college, or make an open application. As part of the UCAS form, you will have to write a 4000 character personal statement, and a teacher will have to provide a reference. The institution code for Cambridge is CAM C05 and for Oxford is O33.
The UCAS code for undergraduate Psychology at Oxford is C830 and CV85 , CQ81 or VQ51 for the Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics degree depending on the combination. At Cambridge the code for the three year course is C800 BA/PBS. Applicants may only apply for Oxford or Cambridge, but not both. It is usual to stipulate a choice of college in the UCAS application, although both universities allow you to make an ‘open’ application via that university’s central admissions office which will then allocate you to a particular. Those wishing to make and open application should enter a ‘9’ in the campus choice box on their UCAS form
Cambridge Undergraduate Course requirements:
Typical offers require
A Level: A*AA
IB: 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level
There is no specific subject requirement but Biology or Maths are highly desirable.
Admissions are handled by individual colleges, but the procedures and requirements are broadly similar. In order to assess applicants for the course, all colleges require evidence of potential to work at a much higher level than A-level. In almost all cases, this will take the form of a pre-submitted school essay, but may also involve an additional test at interview.
The Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Admissions Assessment is an admissions exam created by the University of Cambridge’s admissions testing service in place since 2016. Each candidate applying for PBS will be required to sit this exam in early November.
The aim of this exam is to assist the admissions tutors in selecting the most capable applicants, where so many candidates have the required A-level scores. It helps to differentiate candidates particularly in the domains of critical thinking, reasoning and application of their mathematical and scientific knowledge. The exam consists of two parts. Section 1 consists of three parts. Candidates will be required to answer two of these three parts: they should answer one compulsory part [Part A Thinking Skills] and one further part chosen from two options [Part B Mathematics and Biology, Part C ReadingComprehension]. Each part in Section 1 contains multiple-choice questions. Section 2: This section consists of four written tasks of which candidates should complete one. Scores will be used together with the other elements of a candidate’s application to invite candidates to interview, as well after interview in some cases, to ensure places are awarded to candidates who will excel in this challenging course.
Oxford Undergraduate Course requirements:
- A-levels: A*AA
- Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
- IB: 38–40 including core points
For Psychology, it is highly recommended for candidates to have studied one or more science subjects or Mathematics to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent.
Tutors will, in addition to assessing aptitude and technical skills, seek in successful candidates:
A. an enquiring minds,
B. the ability to think and work independently, and
C. perseverance and enthusiasm
The specific indicators for a successful candidate include an appreciation for the scope of scientific psychology, an ability to evaluate evidence, considering issues from different perspectives, logical and creative thinking, an appreciation of the importance of empirical evidence in supporting arguments, and insurance that they will be able to cope with the quantitative demands of the course.
All applicants who wish to study Experimental Psychology (EP) or Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL) are required to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). This is a test of problem-solving skills, including numerical and spatial reasoning. Critical thinking skills, including understanding argument and reasoning using everyday language. There is a part 1 comprising 50 questions which lasts 90 minutes and a 30 minute written task testing your ability to organise ideas in a clear and concise manner.
Those who apply to study Linguistics as part of PPL will also be required to sit a separate Linguistics Test. The Linguistics test is part of the Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT). This involves a a maximum of two papers. Each paper lasts 30 minutes.
Common questions regarding the Oxford and Cambridge Psychology Courses:
Is there a difference between Oxford and Cambridge?
How do I know I’m clever enough for such an academic degree?
Will tutors be looking to see if I want to be a Psychologist or are they only looking at my grades?
What careers can I pursue after Psychology?
Mentors will be answering these and any other questions at Schools’ Interview Preparation Days or during Private tuition. Alternatively, read some of our blog entries from Oxbridge Sciences or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help you out as best we can.