PDF version of Natural Sciences BSc


Programme Manager

Miss Charlotte Pearce

Email: natsci@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0649

Fees and Funding

UK & EU Fee

£9,000 (2013/14)

Overseas Fee

£19,500 (2013/14)

General Funding Notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments
(What is the RAE?)

Departmental website

Natural Sciences

More Information

Prospectus subject entry

Natural Sciences

Prospectus faculty entry

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Natural Sciences BSc


The Natural Sciences BSc draws together elements of physics, mathematics, chemistry, astrophysics, Earth sciences, life sciences, and science and technology studies. The programme enables students who wish to maintain a breadth of science subjects to design a unique degree which is suited to their personal interests.

Entry Requirements

A Levels

Grades A*AA-AAA
Subjects Any two subjects from Biology/Psychology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.
AS Levels A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 38-39
Subjects A score of 18-19 points in three higher level subjects including two from Biology/Psychology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score lower than 5.

Other Qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International Qualifications

International Qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Selected country's equivalent grades will appear here

University Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The University Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree Summary

Degree Benefits

  • The unique core stream structure provides you with course options from across the spectrum of science disciplines.
  • You may broaden your knowledge further by selecting options in non-science subjects such as languages, management studies, computing and statistics.
  • While the programme offers a high level of flexibility, the core streams offer you a structured pathway to enable specialisation.
  • All members of our teaching staff are experts in their various fields and are active in research, so you will benefit from their cutting-edge knowledge in your lectures and tutorials.

The programme is divided into two main subjects or streams, which are chosen in the first year and followed for the duration of the programme. One will become your major stream, while the other will become your minor stream.

All students undertake a mathematics course and three foundation courses in the first year. Equal weighting is applied to the major and minor stream in the first and second years. During the final year of the BSc, the balance of study shifts towards your chosen major stream whilst you still continue with the minor stream.

Certain streams may have prerequisites of particular grades and/or subjects at A level or equivalent; further details can be found on the Natural Sciences website.

Your Learning

A variety of teaching methods are employed including lecture classes, practical sessions and small group tutorials. In addition to around 25 hours of lectures and library classes each week, you will be expected to spend a substantial amount of time on coursework and private study. The Earth sciences stream will include field classes and the astrophysics stream will include observational work.


Assessment is primarily through end-of-year examinations for lecture-based courses, whereas practical work is continuously assessed. Coursework is important and must be passed to allow progression from one year to the next.

Degree Structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Foundation courses

The first term comprises foundation courses introducing the streams that are offered. You will select three foundation courses from the following:

Earth Sciences
Life Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics
Physics and Astronomy
Science and Technology Studies

Core streams

In your second term you will choose two core streams in the following areas:

Biomedical Science
Brain, Behaviour and Cognition
Earth and Environment
Genetics, Evolution and Environment
Geophysical Sciences
Inorganic and Materials Chemistry
Mathematics and Statistics
Medical Physics
Molecular and Cell Biology
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Policy, Communication and Ethics

Year Two

Core streams

You will take courses in your two core streams. Both streams have equal weighting, amounting to 1.5 credits of core (mandatory) courses per stream. At the end of the second year, you will choose one of the streams as a major stream.

Optional courses

You can select one optional course, worth 0.5 credits. This can be taken outside the main Natural Sciences subject areas, such as in foreign languages, management, etc.

Final Year

Core streams

Major stream: You will take 2.0 credits in your major stream including a compulsory literature review (0.5 credits).

Minor stream: You will take 1.5 credits in your minor stream.

Optional courses

You can select one optional course worth 0.5 credits.

Further details available on degree page of subject website:

Your Career

The programme provides an all-round scientific education in its own right. On completion of your degree, you will have cultivated transferable skills and the ability to solve problems in a quantitative way and to see science in a modern context.

You could choose to specialise in a defined, but usually interdisciplinary, science field and proceed to study for a wide range of possible postgraduate degree and doctoral programmes. Alternatively, you will be equipped to pursue many career options, for example, as a scientific journalist, in science teaching, as a management consultant or in finance and banking.


First destinations of recent graduates (2009-2011) of this programme include:

  • Procurement Assistant, GlaxoSmithKline (2011)
  • Full-time student, Graduate Medicine at Barts and the London NHS Trust (2011)
  • Full-time student, MSc in Management at Imperial College London (2011)
  • Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers (2010)
  • Analyst, JP Morgan (2009)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


Your Application

In addition to essential academic requirements, we are looking for evidence of your motivation to pursue a degree in Natural Sciences. This could be demonstrated through examples of any relevant work, experience, attendance at scientific exhibitions or festivals, or from details of academic project work in which you have been involved.

How to Apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


If you are based in the UK and your application demonstrates you have the potential to meet our academic requirements, you will normally be invited to interview. The interview will be relatively informal and provides you with the opportunity to meet with staff and current students and to see UCL.

If you are based overseas we will make any decision to offer you a place based on the content of your UCAS application including your personal statement and your teacher's reference. However, if it is possible for you to visit UCL before accepting an offer of a place we encourage you to do so; after all, you are committing yourself to three or four years of study so you will want to be comfortable with your surroundings and facilities.

Page last modified on 19 mar 14 15:02