ElleSwick
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I am looking to apply for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences in Cambridge. I'm wondering if there is a more equipped/experienced, or just in any way better, college for this course. Thanks very much guys!
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Peterhouse Admissions
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Not really - and I'm saying this with no bias because Peterhouse doesn't taken students for PBS! (This is only because we have a really small intake though! Look at the Colleges which offer it - all Colleges except Peterhouse - and think about where you would most like to live. Your supervisors may be at different Colleges anyway and academics move around a lot: they may move to a different college or university by the time you apply, or may be on sabbatical during your time there. The amount of PBS books in the library can change too: many colleges will order in books if you need them. In short, Colleges are more about your living space, community and wellbeing than they are about the subject you study.
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cat1234!
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Hi, I'm applying for PBS this year as well and I'm the same, struggling to find the college I like
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Peterhouse Admissions
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I'd also say that the College doesn't have to be perfect. It's kind of like when you watch tv shows where people are buying houses - they rarely find one which ticks all of their boxes, but there's usually one or more that they like and can imagine themselves living in. It might also be worth bearing in mind that you can always put in an open application and get allocation to a college. Plenty of people do this each year. You'll never be asked in interview why you chose a particular college, so you don;t have to justify your reasons. And don't forget that about 20% of Cambridge students were given their place through the pool, meaning that they were chosen by a different college than the one they originally applied to/were allocated to.
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R T
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Echoing the above: the college really doesn't matter. If your college doesn't have a specialist to take you for a supervision for [module X in subject Y], then you'll just get supervised by someone at another college. While colleges have rivalries, this has no impact on your education.

Of course, if your college does have an expert in [X], then you're quite likely to be supervised by that person before they go looking for other experts.

Also to note: this is usually a 3rd year + thing. The start of most undergraduate degrees is pretty general and can be handled by most of the staff or postgrad students.


The one thing you can "choose" is how many students each college roughly takes? I don't know numbers for PBS, but if one college takes 20, another might take about 10. Another maybe less or more. It really doesn't desperately matter, but you get a rough idea of a small group of people who might (but not necessarily) get the chance to know each other better/ more easily vs. having a larger group of people, so maybe there's someone you're more likely to click and work well with. Frankly, it probably doesn't matter. You will get to know people from all colleges studying the subject over the 3 years anyway.
(Original post by ElleSwick)
I am looking to apply for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences in Cambridge. I'm wondering if there is a more equipped/experienced, or just in any way better, college for this course. Thanks very much guys!
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ElleSwick
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(Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
I'd also say that the College doesn't have to be perfect. It's kind of like when you watch tv shows where people are buying houses - they rarely find one which ticks all of their boxes, but there's usually one or more that they like and can imagine themselves living in. It might also be worth bearing in mind that you can always put in an open application and get allocation to a college. Plenty of people do this each year. You'll never be asked in interview why you chose a particular college, so you don;t have to justify your reasons. And don't forget that about 20% of Cambridge students were given their place through the pool, meaning that they were chosen by a different college than the one they originally applied to/were allocated to.
Thank you so much for your replies! Really appreciate them. They're very useful information to know.
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ElleSwick
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(Original post by R T)
Echoing the above: the college really doesn't matter. If your college doesn't have a specialist to take you for a supervision for [module X in subject Y], then you'll just get supervised by someone at another college. While colleges have rivalries, this has no impact on your education.

Of course, if your college does have an expert in [X], then you're quite likely to be supervised by that person before they go looking for other experts.

Also to note: this is usually a 3rd year + thing. The start of most undergraduate degrees is pretty general and can be handled by most of the staff or postgrad students.


The one thing you can "choose" is how many students each college roughly takes? I don't know numbers for PBS, but if one college takes 20, another might take about 10. Another maybe less or more. It really doesn't desperately matter, but you get a rough idea of a small group of people who might (but not necessarily) get the chance to know each other better/ more easily vs. having a larger group of people, so maybe there's someone you're more likely to click and work well with. Frankly, it probably doesn't matter. You will get to know people from all colleges studying the subject over the 3 years anyway.
Thanks for the advice! I've looked on the college websites but can't find the statistics. Do you know where they're available?
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R T
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(Original post by ElleSwick)
Thanks for the advice! I've looked on the college websites but can't find the statistics. Do you know where they're available?
https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ply/statistics
Check "speciifc Year" and choose 2019 (then later choose earlier years since these numbers jump around a bit)
Show acceptances only if you just care about # of people studying it.
type in psycholo... (PBS) into courses, and group by college

It looks like a few colleges admit 4-5 on average, and a lot do about 2-3. It looks like homerton, kings, girton, newnham admit a bit above average. But I've only had a quick look.

It will be difficult to play the numbers game here though. Clearly its a much smaller subject than i first assumed, and so colleges probably wont have a "limit" that they hit in PBS, it's more about (overall) who gets in, and where those people applied might be semi-random. So any "trends" you see might just be random variance.

And I'd say other factors are more important - such as actual things related to living at a college. But you might want to consider that if you apply to Trinity you might be their only student that year (whether thats good or bad is hard to say). But if you apply to Girton, you're fairly likely to be 1 of 4/5/6 students that year. With a subject this small, you're basically certain to get to know everyone in the year very fast though.
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sweeneyrod
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For PBS specifically (AFAIK it's the only subject like this) most colleges set A*AA offers but some ask for A*A*A. There's also a bit of variation in subject requirements. See here for details.
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