What is natural sciences?
Natural Sciences are interdisciplinary degrees which allow you to study more than one science subject throughout your course. The University introduced the Natural Sciences degrees to meet the growing demand for graduates with a broad scientific education. These courses aim to encourage an open-minded and creative attitude towards science through a structured yet flexible programme of study designed around your individual interests and career aspirations. The Natural Sciences degrees will appeal to talented students with an aptitude for science who would like to study a challenging and diverse range of subjects from across the sciences.
How will I study?
A variety of teaching formats are used including lectures, seminars, problem classes, workshops, practical laboratory sessions and fieldwork using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. The subjects involved in Natural Sciences are Archaeology; Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Environmental Science; Geography; Maths; Physics and Psychology. All subjects use a research-led approach to teaching so that students are learning about the latests developments from staff who are involved in cutting-edge research.
BSc or MSci?
The BSc in Natural Sciences allows you to gain a broad understanding of chosen science subjects over three years studying three subjects in the first year and two in the second and third year. It will prepare you for further training or study in many interdisciplinary areas of science as well as for graduate-level employment both within the science sector and beyond.
The MSci in Natural Sciences is aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a career in research. The fourth year allows students to develop key transferable skills through an independent, interdisciplinary research project which is taken alongside specialist modules focusing on a single science subject. It provides the grounding required for students to pursue a research degree such as a PhD, as well as for direct entry into graduate-level employment both within the science sector and more generally.
The methods of assessment for Natural Sciences vary from module to module and from school to school. Types of assessment commonly used include written examinations, in-class tests, essays, laboratory reports, field reports, projects, computing assignments and project work.
Natural Sciences students are able to apply to study either a single semester or a full year overseas through the Universitas 21 scheme. This scheme involves partner universities from around the globe including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea; Sweden and Ireland.
Students should be aware that the combination of subjects they are studying and whether they are taking the BSc or MSci will have an impact on how long a term of study abroad they can undertake as well as when and where they can go.
Career prospects and employability
Natural Sciences graduates are highly regarded by employers since students acquire a broad range of scientific knowledge, as well as useful skills such as communication, numeracy and information technology. They are well qualified for a wide variety of scientific careers such as research and development, marketing and management in the biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical and other scientific-based industries. In addition, they are sought by all sectors of business and manufacturing as well as service industries such as insurance and finance. Natural Sciences graduates are ideally prepared to undertake further study, such as graduate-entry medicine courses or specialist training to qualify as teachers, accountants or actuaries.
These are the average starting salaries for 2010/11 full-time graduates of the schools which fall within Natural Sciences:*
Department of Archaeology - £20,000
School of Biology (Biology, Gentics, Human genetics and Zoology courses) - £16,717
School of Biomedical Sciences (Biochemistry and Neuroscience courses) - £17,912
School of Biosciences - £18,111
School of Chemistry - £18,386
School of Geography - £20,822
School of Mathematical Sciences - £21,757
School of Physics and Astronomy - £21,708
School of Psychology - £16,630
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Application and interview
We usually consider candidates on the basis of their UCAS form without interview; in the case of students from non-standard backgrounds, an interview may be required.
Visit days for students offered a place are normally held between January and April. For University-wide open days, please visit the open days page.