Guide For International Students Applying To Natural Sciences In The UK

Deciding to go to university in the UK is a huge decision to make. With so many factors to consider it is easy to get confused. We go everything you need to know as an international student wanting to study Natural Science.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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Studying Natural Science in the UK will likely be a dream come true for many international students.

But how do you go about navigating the application process and know what needs to form part of your application?

We have all the information you need to know to craft your application.                       

Applying To Study Natural Science As An International Student

The first step to applying to study Natural Science in the UK is familiarising yourself with the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (or UCAS for short).

Here is where you can find all the information you need about all the courses available in the UK, and eventually use to make your application. 

Making sure you meet the entry requirements is the next step. The grade and subjects requirements are important and are what show the Admissions Tutors that you will be capable of studying the course. 

Additionally, if you are wanting to apply to Natural Science at Cambridge you will need to sit an Admissions Test. You will have to sit the Natural Science Admissions Assessment (NSAA) and will be required to attend an Interview as well. 

The Admissions Test and Interview are a significant part of the Cambridge admissions process and it is essential you begin your preparations for them as early as possible. 

Once you have decided which universities you want to apply to you can make your application on UCAS. Before you submit it though you will need to write a Personal Statement. This can be tricky as it has to be relevant to all of the universities, but it is doable – thousands of students do it every year!

All there is left to do is pay the UCAS fee which is around £22 if you are applying to one university, or £26.50 if you are sending your application to multiple institutions. 

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The Minimum Entry Requirements To Study Natural Science

One of the key considerations to have early on is what are the minimum entry requirements for a Natural Science course. In the UK, we use A-Levels which are graded from A* to E for university admission.

For a Natural Science course, the grade requirements range from A*A*A to BBC with students most commonly requiring AAB.

It is essential to make sure the qualifications you are studying are equivalent to the A-Level standard and are recognised in the UK. Luckily, universities in the UK are quite diverse and as such are accustomed to having a high intake of international students with a wide range of qualifications.

If you are an International Baccalaureate student, you will be dealt with slightly different. Each university will have its own approach to the IB marking scheme and will usually attribute points to each individual component that makes up the qualification.

For example, those applying to Cambridge Natural Science require 40-42 IB points, with 776 in Higher Level subjects. Another example is Natural Science at UCL which requires 39 IB points, with 766 at Higher Level. Typically, the minimum entry requirements for IB is 35 points.

Both Cambridge and UCL require a choice of two subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics at Higher Level.

If English is not your first language you will also be required to show proficiency in it, to demonstrate you will be able to undertake an intensive and challenging academic course that is taught and examined in English.

The majority of universities’ websites will have a dedicated section for the entry requirements for international students which will cover all the information you need to know.

How Can I Choose Which University To Study At?

In the UK, seventeen universities offer 59 Natural Science courses meaning there is plenty of choice out there and a course suited to everyone.

With the University of Cambridge offering one of the most popular Natural Science courses it is incredibly competitive to get accepted.

Other top universities such as Durham and UCL offer a Natural Science course, so looking at university ranks may be one way in which you can choose which university to study at.

These are an easy way to compare each course with what you are wanting to get out of your time at university.

You need to know what is important to you, Do you want great teaching? Do you want a low lecturer to student ratio? Do you want to be on a course which tends to have more international students? Or maybe you prefer a university closely located to main hubs like London.

Before delving into the content offered on the courses, these are important considerations to keep in mind. There is no point wanting to study at the University of Exeter when you want to be close to London, for example.

How Can I Fund My Degree As An International Student?

As an international student, you do not have access to the same funding opportunities available to domestic students such as maintenance loans and tuition loans. As such you will have to pay for it yourself.

This is important to remember considering the cost of annual fees for international students, which average around £35,000 per year. 

Regardless of where the financial support you receive be it from your parents, or a loan the main thing to remember is that you will not get any help from the UK government. 

Some universities do offer financial support to international students and it is worth checking it out. For example, for anyone considering applying to Cambridge can find their support here

Applying To Study Natural Science As An International Student

Applying to study Natural Science in the UK is a big decision to make, and it is essential that you know it is the right choice for you.

Starting the application process as early as possible means you will be able to ensure you meet all of the requirements, such as the grade and subjects they require.

It is not an easy process but will be more than worth it when you are studying at the university of your dreams.

Dreaming of studying Natural Science at Cambridge? Our expert tutors are on hand to help you secure your place. 

With our Cambridge Natural Science Premium Programme, we help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive NSAA score and teach you how to Interview effectively. 

Discover our Cambridge Natural Science Premium Programme by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

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