Natural Sciences MSci


Fact file - 2019 entry

MSci Hons | Natural Sciences
UCAS code
4 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
Subjects required depend on your pathway but include a minimum of A in the required subjects for your pathway.
IB score
38 (including minimum of 6/7 in the required subjects for the pathway)
Course location
University Park
Course places
45 in total for BSc/MSci
UCAS code:Qualification:A level offer:Required subjects:IB score:Course places:Campus:School:Type and duration:
Available part-time:
Qualification name:


Our natural sciences degrees are flexible, multidisciplinary programmes that allow you to study more than one science subject for the duration of your course.
Read full overview

Throughout history scientists have attempted to make sense of the world around them, identifying problems and providing solutions. Many of the big challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, energy, sustainability, security and health require an interdisciplinary approach to find solutions. Great scientists think beyond the boundaries of a discipline and find solutions to problems using methods across the broader spectrum of science. This is what we teach our students to become, great scientists.

Our Natural Sciences degrees are multidisciplinary programmes on which students study three subjects in the first year and then two science subjects to degree level thereafter, alongside gaining an appreciation for, and understanding of, the interdisciplinary nature of science. The combination of subjects which you study in the first year allows you to find out what each subject is like at university before you specialise further and you have the opportunity to explore specialist areas through optional modules as you progress through the course.

These courses are designed for talented students with an aptitude for science who would like to study a challenging and diverse range of subjects. Successful completion of the degree provides you with the academic knowledge and practical experience for a wide range of careers in science.

The MSci is designed so that you gain professional skills in research and investigation, preparing you for a career in that field. As well as providing good grounding for a career in research the MSci is a qualification required by employers for some graduate-level job opportunities in industry

Graduate profile video


Lydia Walder - Mathematics and Chemistry 


Year one

You will choose a three-subject pathway from the 13 listed below and study 40 credits of each subject. Lecture-based theory modules are supported by smaller group classes and practical work in laboratory classes, problem classes and the field. The first year will provide you with a broad foundation of knowledge, upon which you can build for the rest of your studies.  Alongside the subjects studied you will take the Academic and Transferable Skills Portfolio which is designed to assist you in the transition to higher education and support you to develop skills required for success in your studies and your future career.  

Pathways available

PathwayRequired Subjects
Archaeology - Biological Sciences - Chemistry Biology, Chemistry
Biological Sciences - Chemistry - Mathematics Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics
Biological Sciences - Physics - Mathematics Biology, Mathematics, Physics
Chemistry - Physics - Mathematics Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics
Environmental Science - Chemistry - Geography Chemistry, Other Science*
Environmental Science - Biological Sciences - Chemistry Biology, Chemistry
Geography - Biological Sciences - Chemistry Biology, Chemistry
Geography - Biological Sciences - Mathematics Biology, Mathematics
Physics - Geography - Mathematics Mathematics, Physics
Physics - Mathematics - Psychology Mathematics, Physics
Psychology - Biological Sciences - Chemistry Biology, Chemistry
Psychology - Biological Sciences - Mathematics Biology, Mathematics
Mathematics - Chemistry - Psychology Chemistry, Mathematics

* Other Science includes: Biology, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics and Physics

Year two 

You will continue studying two of your first year subjects. Each subject is studied in greater depth with many subjects allowing you to tailor your studies through optional modules. You will take 60 credits of modules from each subject and greater emphasis will be put on study outside of formal classes. Many of the theory modules will be enhanced by practical work in laboratories, field work and problem classes.

Year three

You will continue with the same two subjects studied in the second year taking a further 50 credits of each. The modules available in the third year become more advanced and you are provided greater flexibility through optional modules focusing on specialist areas within a subject. You are expected to be more proactive and manage your own time and learning. Much of the teaching is delivered by lectures but there is also practical laboratory and field work and small group classes like seminars, workshops and tutorials. Emphasis will be put on self-reliance and putting what you have learned in previous years into practice. Alongside subject-specific study, you will undertake a 20 credit synoptic project which aims to  provide a broader view of science and its communication and tie together the different subjects through an interdisciplinary group project

Year four

You will choose one of your third-year subjects to focus on in the fourth year, spending half your time working on an independent research project aiming to develop the skills needed to pursue a career in research. Alongside the project you take taught modules in your main subject and if you wish to maintain some breadth you can also take options from your other third year subject. Many of the modules in the fourth year have a greater focus towards developing skills you would need for a successful career in research, as well as providing advanced knowledge.


Entry requirements

A levels: A*AA, subjects required depend on your chosen pathway but include a minimum of A in the required subjects for your pathway, usually from biology, chemistry, maths, and physics. General Studies, critical thinking, CIE global perspectives & research, CIE thinking skills and citizenship studies are not accepted.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications 

For details see alternative qualifications page.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.


Notes for applicants 

The first two years of the Natural Sciences degrees are common to both degrees and students are able to change between BSc and MSci programmes at any time within the first two years of the course, providing they meet the progression requirements.

Pathway choice is flexible and you are able to change pathway at any time up to and including your arrival in Nottingham, provided you meet the entry requirements for your new pathway.



The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Typical year one modules

You will choose a three subject pathway, 40 credits of each subject are studied in the first year. The majority of the modules are compulsory but there are limited optional choices. Depending on your chosen pathway, your modules will differ. For examples of typical modules offered by each department, click on the links below.

For details of specific modules by pathway, please visit the Natural Sciences website.

Typical year two modules

You will continue with any two of your first year subjects. Each subject is studied in greater depth, with many subjects allowing you to tailor your studies through optional modules. You will take 60 credits of modules from each subject and find that there is a greater emphasis on study outside of formal classes.

For more detailed module information in by pathway, please visit the Natural Sciences website.

Typical year three modules

You will continue with the same two subjects studied in the second year taking a further 50 credits of each. The modules available in the third year become more advanced and you are allowed greater flexibility through optional modules which focus on specialist areas within the subject.

For more detailed module information in by pathway, please visit the Natural Sciences website.

Typical year four modules

MSci students will choose one of their year three subjects in which to carry out a major research project. The project is an opportunity to consolidate learning from previous years and to apply that knowledge in a world-class research environment with support of university staff. Alongside the project students can take options from one or two subjects.

For more detailed module information about the master year, please visit the Natural Sciences website.



On completion of your course you will have gained a multidisciplinary degree which will prepare you for further study or work in many exciting interdisciplinary areas of modern science, such as nanotechnology, systems biology, sustainable energy technology, environmental science or chemical physics. You will have acquired professional, analytical and communication skills, as well as an understanding of scientific investigations, which will allow you to be confident about working in a variety of scientific fields. You will also have developed valuable transferable skills in information technology, time management, critical thinking, organisation and team working.

Average starting salary and career progression

These are the average starting salaries for 2016 full-time graduates of the schools which contribute to natural sciences*:

  • School of Biosciences - £21,597
  • School of Chemistry -  £24,150
  • School of Geography - £23,500
  • School of Life Sciences - £21,037
  • School of Mathematical Sciences - £25,619
  • School of Physics and Astronomy - £24,386
  • School of Psychology - £17,915

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates who were available for work 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers
(Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


tailoring your degree to your own strengths and career aspirations
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Natural Sciences Admissions

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The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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