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Natural Sciences degrees | course guide

Natural Sciences degrees take a broad approach to studying the physical make-up of the universe. If you love science, read our guide to see if this degree is for you.

Natural Sciences students looking through microscopes outdoors

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Natural Sciences?

  2. What Natural Sciences degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a Natural Sciences degree?

  4. What topics does a Natural Sciences degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Natural Sciences?

  7. What do Natural Sciences graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as a Natural Sciences graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Natural Sciences

  11. Have any questions? 

What’s Natural Sciences?

Natural Sciences explores the world around us through biology, chemistry, physics and more, using data from experiments to understand, interpret and predict outcomes. This interdisciplinary science degree enables you to combine two or more subjects and choose modules to suit your interests as your studies progress.

What Natural Sciences degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in Natural Sciences include:

  • Natural Sciences MNatSci, MSci or BSc
  • Natural Sciences (Chemistry) BSc
  • Natural Sciences (Biology) BSc
  • Natural Sciences with International Study BSc

Options may include an integrated foundation year or master’s. Degrees may include a placement year or year abroad.

  1. GO TO 
  2. Find a Natural Sciences undergraduate degree 
  3. Types of undergraduate degrees 

What do you need to get onto a Natural Sciences degree?

Entry requirements for a Natural Sciences degree are generally high, ranging from 112–198 UCAS points. Universities may specify qualifications rather than UCAS points, in a range of grades as follows:

  • A Levels: A*A*A– BBC
  • BTECs: D*DD– DDD
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAAA– AAAAB (Advanced Highers: AAA–AA)
  • International Baccalaureate: 40–35
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied: two sciences at advanced or higher level 

Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics
  • Environmental science
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Computing/IT

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Independent reading that demonstrates your interest in the subjects
  • Media resources include podcasts, talks and documentaries
  • Take online courses or go to a summer school in the natural sciences, if available

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of sciences
  • Some universities may require a pass in an admissions test, for example, Cambridge’s NSAA (Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment)
  1. GO TO 
  2. Entry requirements 
  3. About UCAS points 
  4. Alternatives to A Levels

What topics does a Natural Sciences degree cover?

A wide variety of modules may be available to you, depending on the path you take through your degree. They could include:

  • Cell biology and mechanisms of disease
  • Chemistry of the carbon-based compounds
  • Control systems
  • Electromagnetism, optics, relativity and quantum mechanics
  • Foundations in natural science
  • Frontiers in science
  • Genomes, genes and genomics
  • Global environmental challenges
  • Machine learning
  • Mathematics and computing: integrative tools for natural sciences
  • Nuclear and solar energy
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Physical and analytical methods in biochemistry
  • Quantitative skills
  • Science communication
  • The physics of the universe

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following and will vary from module to module.

  • Essays
  • Field exercises
  • Final year project
  • Lab reports
  • Literature reviews
  • Poster presentations
  • Practical reports
  • Problem sheets
  • Short-answer tests
  • Written exams

Why study Natural Sciences?

A Natural Science degree allows you to specialise during your degree, building skills and knowledge in your areas of interest. You’ll gain:

Career-specific skills:

  • Subject-specific knowledge in broad and specialist areas
  • Specialist technical skills, including lab skills
  • Experiment design and analysis

Transferable skills: 

  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Data handling
  • High levels of literacy and numeracy
  • Interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving
  • IT literacy
  • Organisation and time management
  • project management
  • Teamworking

What do Natural Sciences graduates earn?

Natural Sciences graduates may start with a salary of around £20,000. Those who have pursued postgraduate training will have higher entry salaries.

As your career progresses, your average salary will depend on the sector you’ve entered. It could range from £30,000–44,000 for a senior research scientist in biotechnology, up to £90,000 for a consultant clinical scientist in the NHS.

What jobs can you get as a Natural Sciences graduate?

A Natural Sciences degree could equip you for various scientific roles across sectors like conservation, energy, the NHS or the pharmaceutical industry. Softer skills can be used in careers from management to finance, marketing or retail. To become a clinical or healthcare scientist requires further training, with entry to NHS England’s Scientist Training Programme (STP) being highly competitive.

  • Biotechnologist
  • Civil service
  • Clinical scientist
  • Chartered accountant
  • Lab technician
  • Lecturer or teacher
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Neuroscientist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research scientist
  • Science journalist

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

At postgraduate level, the broad base of Natural Sciences is often found only within research degrees. Applicants require an undergraduate degree in a science-related subject.

  • Natural Sciences MRes or PhD
  1. GO TO
  2. Find postgraduate courses for Natural Sciences
  3. Type of postgraduate degrees

Similar subjects to Natural Sciences

If you’d prefer to specialise, similar subjects to Natural Sciences include:

Do you have any questions?

Contact our experts by emailing ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk to ask any questions you have about studying Natural Sciences. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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