The Student Room Group

Oxford PPL vs Cambridge PBS?


I am a year 12 student that is debating on whether or not I should apply for Oxford or Cambridge for a psychology degree, and was wondering if the red pen had any guidance or advice to my personal situation.

Right now, I'm studying Philosophy, psychology and mathematics in A-levels and I love all 3, and my dream job is integrative psychotherapy because it allows you to take into account all the different ideologies and interpretations of psychological development, behaviour, and psychotherapy and use whatever fits best for a client (and thus allowing me the ability to help people in a clinical sense but with freedom to my own interpretations).

I have been battling between PBS at Cambridge and PPL at Oxford. I originally thought I would like to go to Oxford because it offered psychology and philosophy as a bipartite degree, and because it was slightly more reputable and prestigious in my eyes (unfounded bias, I understand, Cambridge also has immense prestige in the university aswell). However, the psychology structure in Oxford is somewhat vague and almost always prioritises the 'scientific' and 'rigorous observation and testing' in psychology, although I believe I would like seeing psychology from a neuroscientific point of view, I believe that I would much prefer being able to see it from all different views (from personality to developmental to neuroscience, which , although I should reiterate does include the neuroscientific side, is not solely focused on such) , and Oxford does not seem to imply that with their course, whereas Cambridge, allowing 'PBS' to be a general label for all different aspects of psychology, in humanities (including philosophy), and in the sciences, which seems to be more of an integrative approach to psychology.

I was wondering if you would be able to give me some guidance, such as a possible indepth insight into the structure at Oxford on how psychology is done and if it is more neuroscientific than Cambridge (although I'd be interested in seeing neuroscience at play, I would much rather be primarily in a classroom or in a room with clients/participants to talk to or observe rather than in a laboratory all the time) , or if you have any general advice/insight picking between the two universities.

Any input would be greatly appreciated from all of you (especially anyone who attended either of the courses and/or were in a similar position to me), thank you!

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