Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

Number of students per year: 2 - 3 

Typical offer: A*AA at A-level or 7 7 6 (42+ overall) in the IB or the equivalent. 

Essential subjects: There are no essential subjects for PBS, but most applicants take A-levels/IB Higher Levels in one or two of Mathematics, Biology, Physics or Chemistry, in addition to other academically demanding subjects in arts, humanities or social sciences.

Previous study of Psychology is neither recommended nor a disadvantage. 

(Please note that IB applicants starting the new IB Mathematics syllabus are expected to take IB Higher Level 'Analysis and Approaches' if it's available at your school. If this isn't an option for you, please drop us an email at admissions@clare.cam.ac.uk and we'll be very happy to advise you.)

PBS at Clare 

If you are admitted to study PBS at Clare, you will be joining a vibrant and supportive community of academics with a shared interest in what drives human and animal behaviour. 

At Clare we have a range of Fellows based at the Psychology Department with expertise ranging across the neuroscience of perception, neuropsychiatric disorders, comparative cognition in birds, and human language processing. We also have a diverse Fellowship in the broader biological, social, political, anthropological and medical sciences; to support the elective papers that students may choose from outside the core PBS Tripos.

Clare is conveniently located in the heart of Cambridge, just a short walk across the Market Square to get to the Psychology Department and Psychology Library.

Key People


Professor Rebecca Lawson

Director of Studies & Lecturer in Psychology

We all have expectations about how the how the world should look, feel, smell, taste and sound. These expectations act as predictions to guide us when we are uncertain, and signal when something out of the ordinary is happening.

My work uses computational models, pharmacology and brain imaging to understand how humans learn to build adaptive expectations about the world around us, other people and ourselves.

The aim is to understand how and when predictions are realised in the brain, how these mechanisms develop in babies and how they might underlie individual differences in how the world is experienced by people with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric conditions.