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Politics, Psychology and Sociology

This course will be replaced by Human, Social and Political Sciences and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences from 2013 entry onwards.

Welcome to the Politics, Psychology and Sociology (PPS) page at King's! This page contains information about the course, PPS at King's and the admissions process as it relates to PPS candidates.

The PPS Tripos (Tripos = course)

The PPS Tripos consists of a Part I, which students take in their first year, a Part IIA, which they take in their second year and a Part IIB, which they take in their third. In Part I, students take four papers: two or three papers from Group A which includes Politics, Psychology and Sociology; and one or two papers from Group B which currently offers a choice of eleven papers on subjects including Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Computer Science, Economic History, Education, Human Geography, International Studies, Research Methods, and Social Anthropology. In Part II, they are offered a more comprehensive and intensive grounding in politics, psychology, or sociology, or a joint course in psychology and sociology. In Part IIB, they may pursue their chosen discipline or disciplines, or return to consider another, or elect to study one or more inter-disciplinary subjects.

PPS at King's

King's plays an important part in PPS and PPS at King's. It has by far the largest number of graduates and undergraduates studying PPS of any Cambridge college. It also has a relatively large number of Fellows who represent all the main PPS disciplines. This provides a stimulating and supportive environment in which to study the subject.

King's is very close indeed to the PPS Faculty on the New Museums Site. It takes less than five minutes to walk there (see the map).

Careers of King's graduates in PPS cover a wide variety of fields. A significant proportion take higher degrees leading to research, teaching and applied work in the social sciences. Others pursue careers in the media, government administration, international organisations, management, commerce, and many alternative professions.

Fellows in PPS

John Barber

John Barber is a Director of Studies and works on politics, religion and society in modern Russia, the USSR in World War II, and Leningrad in the Stalin and Khrushchev eras.

Christopher Brooke

Christopher Brooke (Director of Studies) is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies. He is interested in stoicism in modern European political thought, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, eighteenth-century political philosophy, politics and education, and the history of egalitarianism and distributive justice.

Jude Browne

Jude Browne's areas of specialism are gender, sex segregation, political and social theories of equality, social dialogue, modern economies and capabilities, as well as social and human rights.

John Dunn

John Dunn is a Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies. He works on rethinking modern political theory, the historical formation and intellectual weakness of liberal and socialist conceptions of political value and political possibility, explaining the political trajectories of the varieties of modern states, the political thought of Locke, and the historical development and current significance of democracy in different parts of the world.

David Good

David Good (Director of Studies) is a Director of Studies at King's and a lecturer in the Department of Social and Developmental Psychology. Hs is interested in how our understanding of human communication can contribute to the design and use of new informational and communication technologies, as well as the role of social factors in the evolution of language and intelligence.

Sharath Srinivasan

Sharath Srinivasan works on Africa's international relations, politics of international intervention (human rights, humanitarian, peace and security), political violence and armed conflict, the politics of the Horn and East Africa (especially Sudan), ideas and practice of democracy in the developing world, governance, new technologies and political activism.

Darin Weinberg

Darin Weinberg (Director of Studies) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. He works on the sociology of health and illness and social theory.

Applying for PPS at King's

Many applicants have A-levels (or equivalent) in one or more of the PPS disciplines or in other social sciences (such as Economics or History), but this is not essential and candidates from other backgrounds are also encouraged to apply. Please see the Entrance requirements for standard offers.

Once candidates have applied they are normally asked to submit in advance two or three recent essays for discussion at interview.

Interviews will normally be with two PPS Fellows. Candidates are also asked to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment on paper whilst they are in Cambridge for interviews. Please note if you read the specification on the TSA website that the Thinking Skills Assessment for PPS contains only critical thinking questions - there are no problem solving questions.

Admission is on the basis of the interviews, Thinking Skills Assessment, school references, personal statement, and educational record including already achieved and predicted examination results.

You may like to look at the reading suggestions for prospective PPS students.

A student perspective

Juan is a recent King's PPS graduate. He wrote about his experiences of the course, including how he came to choose PPS, the teaching and specialisation, fitting in other activities, advice for picking a college, and tips for interviews. This is well worth reading to get a sense of what King's PPS is really like.

Student Perspective: PPS

Further information

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