Natural Sciences

Why study more than one subject?

Why mp

So why do you want to study more than one subject? Surely that is going to be more difficult?

While yes it is true that studying more than one subject at a time is more challenging and does require you to have excellent organisation and commitment, it is also rewarding and opens opportunities in different areas for you. The world is interdisciplinary so confining your learning to a single subject could restrict your plans after university.

Studying Natural Sciences allows you to:

  • Continue learning familiar subjects alongside subjects you haven't studied before
  • Explore topics across the boundaries of traditional disciplines
  • Develop a broader understanding of your chosen subjects as you make connections between ideas and approaches in the different disciplines
  • Gain a rounded approach to ideas and knowledge and how these are formed
  • Become open to alternative ways of approaching problems and getting information
  • Learn how to find creative solutions to complex problems
  • Grow a broad range of transferable skills both through the different subjects you are studying and through balancing your studies across multiple subjects
  • Open up a wide range of careers both within science and beyond - many employers are more interested in skills than subject knowledge

Academic Knowledge

You will learn each of the subjects you continue to your final year to the same depth as a student on a single science degree, studying alongside these students on the modules that you take.

What varies for natural sciences students is the breadth. You will study less areas of each subject than a student on a single science degree because you are studying two subjects.

In practice this means that instead of studying all three branches of chemistry you will study two and instead of studying all areas of Biology you will focus on a few chosen areas.

The course is designed to allow you to control which areas of the subjects you study through choice of specialisms and optional modules.


The range of skills the natural sciences students can develop through their course are very broad and depend to some extent on the subjects that are being studied as different subjects are associated with different technical and transferable skills. Particular skills which can be gained through interdisciplinary study are:

  • Time Management and Prioritisation
  • Creativity and Problem Solving
  • Cognitive Flexibility and Versatility
  • Analytical and Numerical Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Team Work and Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication Skills


The future workplace is rapidly evolving.

The landscape of work which is available in twenty years will be very different and some of you will go on to work in jobs or even entire sectors which don't presently exist. In addition graduates are no longer hunting for a job for life - the idea of leaving University into a job for 50 years fills most graduates with horror. Many graduates will move between different industries throughout their career bringing different experiences into these roles.

Because of this the skills and competencies which the employment market are looking for are different now. Employers are increasingly looking for graduates who are versatile, quick to learn, capable of dealing with change, able to think quickly and apply ideas to different areas. These are all skills which are strongly associated with students who have studied interdisciplinary degrees so natural sciences graduates are well suited to the modern employment market and have a lot of opportunities open to them across all sectors. 

Is natural sciences for me?

Natural sciences is the course for you if:

  • You are enjoying two or more of the subjects you are currently studying and would like to continue them at university-level.
  • You enjoy studying science and would like the opportunity to explore new areas of science alongside those which are more familiar
  • You are interested in a specific interdisciplinary area such as climate change, nanotechnology, energy, neuroscience, or systems biology
  • You want to study a science degree which allows you to keep your career options open and avoid being pigeon-holed by a specific degree course.
  • You are interested in a career where knowledge of more than one science is advantageous.


Natural Sciences

School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham
University Park

Tel: +44 (0) 115 823 2376
Fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3555