skip to primary navigationskip to content

Requirements for students without a background in Psychology

PhD research in the Department of Psychology can often be interdisciplinary, and thus a number of students join the programme from diverse academic backgrounds. In order to ensure that all PhD students in the department have a baseline level of psychology knowledge, those students without a background in Psychology are required to attend 5 hours of foundational psychology teaching during their first year.

These 5 lectures can be taken from any undergraduate psychology course (NOTE: These do not include statistics, which is covered separately). However, below are some suggestion of introductory courses that may be the most appropriate. Students should consider in discussion with their supervisors which topics will be most useful for their particular area of study. Remember you are free (and encouraged!)  to attend more than 5 hours of psychology teaching, this is merely the minimum required. Paper guides for all the available courses will be available on Moodle.

Suggested Courses:

  • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences 1 (PBS1): This 1st year course introduces a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of psychology. All lectures are 1 hour and take place on Mondays at 11am and Fridays at 2pm, in Mill Lane Lecture Room 1. The topics covered in this course are:

Michaelmas Term: Gender (2 lectures); Personality (2 lectures); IQ and Intelligence testing (2 lectures); Embodied Cognition (2 lectures); Health Psychology (2 lectures); Perception of Faces (2 lectures), interpersonal perception (2 lectures)
Lent Term: Social and Cognitive Development: Infancy (3 lectures); Social Cognition (3 lectures); Neuroscience of Decision-Making (3 lectures); Emotion (3 lectures); Political Decision Making (4 lectures)

  • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences 2 (PBS2): This 1st year course covers the foundations of psychological study, including the methodological and biological knowledge and skills required to engage with the research literature. All lectures are 1 hour and take place on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am in Mill lane lecture room 9. Potentially useful topics covered in this course are:

Michaelmas Term: Introduction to psychological Enquiry; Introduction to the brain; Neurobiology (2 lectures); Genetics (2 lectures); Brain Imaging (2 lectures); Human Electrophysiology (2 lectures); Brain Interventions (2 lectures); Neuropsychology (2 lectures).
Lent Term: Study Design (3 lectures); Ethics; Qualitative Research (2 lectures)

  • Medical and Vet Sciences, Neurobiology & Human Behaviour (MVST-NHB): This is a 2nd year medicine/veterinary course that contains a number of lectures on neurobiology and psychology. All lectures are 1 hour and take place in the Babbage lectures theatre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 and 12. Potentially useful topics covered in this course are:

Lent Term: Emotion (2 lectures); Neurobiology of Attention; Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory (2 lectures); Neurobiology of Memory (2 lectures); Neurobiology of Language; Language and Aging; Executive Functioning, attentional control and the prefrontal cortex, Reasoning and decision (medial dilemmas), Cognitive neuroscience of development (infancy-adolescence), Development disorders (intellectual function), Psychopathology (Schizophrenia & Depression).