What Is A Natural Science Degree?

You have likely seen the degree Natural Science come up whilst browsing through UCAS and university websites, but what actually is a Natural Science degree?

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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Scientists who can tackle society’s most complicated problems by using different science disciplines are in huge demand. 

That is exactly what a Natural Science degree teaches students to do.

In this guide, we will go over any of the burning questions you may have about what a Natural Science degree is.

What Is A Natural Science Degree?

Natural Science focuses on developing an understanding of the natural world. It explores the natural work from several perspectives, including chemical, physical, mathematical, environmental and geological.

Subsequently, anyone studying a Natural Science degree at university will study multiple subjects throughout the duration of the course.

From this, students build knowledge of several subjects simultaneously and as a result, can see how different scientific tools and concepts are linked.

Natural Science is a course that gives those that are studying it a good appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of science. The emphasis on taking this interdisciplinary approach to solving problems is crucial because many of the biggest challenges facing society today – such as health, climate change, sustainability and security – require scientists from different backgrounds to work together.

The breadth of a Natural Science course reflects this blurring of boundaries between the different sciences, and before committing yourself to one department you study a variety of subjects, some of which will likely be new to you.

This means you can change your mind about which subject to specialise in.

Many students discover a passion for the new subjects that they start in the first year and continue these in the subsequent years.

Remember, students are not limited to a specific career path when choosing a Natural Science degree and allows you to develop your interests as you study.

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What Universities Offer A Natural Science Degree?

In the UK seventeen universities offer a Natural Science course, these being:

Between them, they offer 61 undergraduate Natural Science degrees meaning there is a course available for everyone.

Is A Natural Science Degree Right For Me?

Are you thinking of pursuing a degree in Natural Science but are not quite sure if it is right for you? Understanding the qualities, you should possess may help answer that question.

You should possess strong science and math skills because Natural Sciences integrate several different science-related subjects in areas such as physics, chemistry, and biology. Remember, you have the freedom to choose which area you are comfortable with.

You must be ready to spend the extra time that comes with taking lab classes and working on them.

Taking the Natural Science Tripos offered at Cambridge, for example, students are expected to complete their studies to as robust a level as those studying a single Science through a hefty workload that includes Saturday lectures.

In any case, it will be up to you to determine what course style will best fit your needs and interests – are you dead-set on only studying Chemistry or could you be swayed into Biochemistry or even something further afield?

How Is A Natural Science Course Structured?

Each university that offers a Natural Science course, will have a different approach to the overall structure of the course.

It is crucial to carefully what each course offers and consider how you learn best. Broadly speaking, you can expect a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops, labs and field trips.

How your work is assessed will usually depend on the module, usually including written exams, coursework, presentations, lab reports, oral exams and research projects.

If we once again consider the Natural Science Tripos at Cambridge, all nine of the subjects offered to students require you to attend lectures. With this being one of the only times the entire call will be together, the lectures are helpful to define the content and scope of the course.

As well practical work, be it laboratory work, fieldwork, or examples classes usually serve to illustrate topics from the lectures and impart with the skills needed to apply those concepts practically or experimentally.

And as with any course at Cambridge, students will attend supervisions a vital teaching method at the university. This is your opportunity to go over material from the lectures and practical classes and clarify any unclear points.

Your aim should be to tailor supervisions to your needs and should learn to use them well.

What Skills Will I Gain With A Natural Science Degree?

The overall goal of a Natural Science degree is to make you a brilliant problem solver. That is just one of the many transferable skills you will develop on the course.

Other examples are:

  • Research skills and critical thinking abilities. Able to evaluate and interpret information.
  • Excellent ability to communicate verbally and in writing.
  • Presentation skills.  
  • Methodical approach to working.
  • Able to make sound decisions.
  • Good at working on your own initiative.
  • Scientific investigative skills and lab work.
  • IT.
  • Time management.  

What Can I Do With A Natural Science Degree?

A Natural Science degree prepares you to work in interdisciplinary areas of modern science, including nanotechnology, systems biology, sustainable energy technology, environmental science and chemical physics.

But because of the skills and knowledge, an even wider range of careers are open to graduates of a Natural Science degree.

Job areas include research, lab technician, conservation officer, and forensics. Journalism, finance, Civil Service, police and IT job are also open to Natural Science graduates.

For example, graduates from Durham’s Natural Science course have gone on to become landscape architects, environmental engineers, accountants, science teachers, commercial food trainees and recruitment officers.

The beauty of a Natural Science degree is that students are not limited to a specific career path. With the demand for individuals with good mathematical, scientific, and research skills, prospective job seekers with a Natural Science degree have a wide array of areas to choose from.

Concluding Thoughts

By having a better understanding of what Natural Science actually is, hopefully, it gives you a better idea of whether this is the subject for you. 

It is an interesting and exciting course to study and the flexibility of it means you can make it as specialised or broad a subject as you wish. 

Your interests and passions are truly at the forefront of a Natural Science degree. 

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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