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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A: Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

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Dr Emma Cahill 

I am the Executive Postgraduate Tutor and Director of Studies for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS). My research looks at memory, particularly fearful memories. I'm interested in learning how they are physically made in the brain through using techniques from Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology. 

What's special about PBS at Cambridge? 

Cambridge has a long history of ground-breaking work in the study of the brain basis of behaviour. Many past achievements in technology, ideas and discoveries about the brain were gained in the laboratories around the city that continue to run today (find out more). More recently, there is a move towards more interdisciplinary interactions; so neuroscientists and psychologists can exchange and share ideas. Likewise there are different routes to study the brain and/or behaviour as a student, and all the courses now offer a lot of choice in the different aspects of the subject a student can study and in doing so a student can tailor their course to their own interests. 

How does Murray Edwards College support its PBS students? 

PBS at Murray Edwards College is supported by excellent facilities for study and a close enthusiastic network of students, postgraduates and Fellows that study Psychology. Each year we have a subject-specific dinner for all College members involved in Psychology. The reading materials that support the lectures in the course are readily available in the Rosemary Murray Library, which is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Students can also engage with their PBS topics in the student societies Murray Edwards Social Sciences Society (MESSS) and/or the Franklin Society (Science). Finally, a network of former students is steadily growing since the PBS Tripos started in 2013. Past PBS students have gone on to a range of careers from continued postgraduate study to Clinical Psychology, Business, HR, Marketing and more.

What do you enjoy most about working at Murray Edwards College? 

The atmosphere is friendly, people often say hello/hold the door/walk on the grass. On a regular basis, I'm inspired by the conversations I have with members. I can learn so much by just striking up a conversation over some good food (I particularly love the brunch!) in the Dome.