About the Course

Psychology at Oxford is a scientific discipline involving the rigorous formulation and testing of ideas. It has been defined as the science of mental life and it seeks to understand the mind and behaviour through experimentation, observation and measurement. Insight and intuition are certainly important, but they are not sufficient. The scope of the subject is very wide. It addresses questions such as: how do we perceive colours? How do children acquire language? What predisposes two people to get on with each other? What causes schizophrenia? What is unique about the human brain? Popular conceptions of Psychology based on accounts of Freud or the belief that Psychology is basically about mental illness or selfdevelopment are very misleading guides to contemporary Psychology.

Undergraduates' activities in Oxford are divided between University and college. In this respect Psychology is like other subjects. Lectures and practical classes are arranged on a University basis and students from all the colleges attend them. Similarly, examinations are set by the University. Tutorial teaching is organized by the college. For each tutorial, undergraduates are expected to write critical essays on a set of recommended readings. These essays are discussed, either singly or in pairs, with the tutor. Because Oxford terms are short, undergraduates are expected to do a good deal of vacation reading.

You can read Psychology at Jesus College in two ways: either in a Joint Honour School with Philosophy and/or Linguistics, or else as a subject on its own in the Honour School of Experimental Psychology. In either case, you choose from the same list of topics and attend the same lectures and tutorials.

Subject notes

To see the latest subject notes for Experimental Psychology - which contain information about our tutorial fellows, the admissions process and the course itself - please consult the below link.