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Department of Psychology

Graphic with text: letter from one undergraduate to all undergraduates. The image shows the entrance to downing site.

I have recently graduated, and I loved the PBS course.

Studying at the University of Cambridge is a unique opportunity. However, students will have to work (really) hard and make the best out of their experience. For example, choosing optional papers is a crucial decision because it enables students to build specific knowledge and become more critical when studying advanced topics later in the course. Nevertheless, always rely on the Director of Studies for further support and guidance.

My director of studies, as well as my college tutor, provided me with guidance and the support I needed along the way. However, students should expand their network and contact researchers and lecturers, especially at the department of psychology. In doing so, they will increase their awareness of what is it like to work in research. I had a fantastic experience participating in lab meetings with the Compulsivity Lab, led by Dr David-Belin and Dr Aude Belin-Rauscent. Also, for those who would like to get some research experience during the summer, try contacting members of the department as early as January/February of each year. This way, there is enough time to seek funding and ensuring a 2.1 mark as from year 1 -- this is vital for funding, internship and anything else after graduation.

The workload will be massive, but it is Cambridge, so do not dwell on this. Students have to write several essays per week, attend many lectures, and actively participate in supervisions. The routine can get a bit tough sometimes (especially around week 5) so collaborating with colleagues who have decided for similar paper can be an advantage. Also, the most important thing is to practice hand-writing essays under exam conditions as early as possible. I would suggest using the Department resources, such as the library and make it the go-to place. All the books in the paper guide were there or online, so I would only look for something else after having been through the recommended reading list.

I learned so much that enabled me to set up my own media channel. I have launched Neurobahn, the first science news media promoting neuroscience and innovation information to accelerate healthspan. I would be happy to publish innovative ideas, opinions, and essays both from students and members of the department, so visit the website and get in touch for more details.

Enjoy your PBS course!

Renato Boemer



Views expressed on the site are primarily those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge.