Natural Sciences degrees


Streams of Study

 We offer a variety of different streams, broadly covering six different scientific fields, which are delivered in four different faculties - Mathematics and Physical Sciences (which houses Natural Sciences), Life Sciences, Brain Sciences and Engineering.  Each stream has an academic represenative from each of the supporting departments, who oversee the stream and provide academic advice and support for students.  Details on each of the current streams available as well as modules taken in each and stream represenatives can be found below:


Chemistry is the science most concerned with our everyday needs, such as the development of new materials, synthesis and discovering the action of new drugs, and monitoring improvement of the environment. The chemistry department at UCL has a long and distinguished history and is rated as one of the leading chemistry departments for research in the country. Its research includes many collaborations between UCL organic chemists and life scientists involved in chemical biology and medicinal chemistry projects, physical chemists and physicists undertaking chemical physics and astrophysics projects, and inorganic chemists and materials scientists working together developing novel materials.

The three Chemistry streams form natural combinations within the Natural Sciences programme, and relate to the A-level topics:

For more information on UCL Chemistry, please visit the Department of Chemistry website.

Life Sciences

Life Sciences courses are taught by the departments of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Biochemistry, Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Psychology and Language Sciences. These departments are renowned internationally for excellence in research, teaching and in the media. Students benefit from being taught by leading researchers, as well as by popular authors and broadcasters.

The Departments have been rated excellent in both teaching and research, which are closely linked. The departments have strong links with the many research institutes such as The Wolfson Institute of Biomedical research and the Institute of Child Health, which are now part of UCL. Students can undertake their research projects in these institutes.

For more information on UCL Life Sciences, please visit the Life Sciences Faculty website and for more information on UCL Brain Sciences, please visit the Brain Sciences Faulty website.

Physics and Astrophysics

The study of Physics covers both fundamental and applied fields, and spans the phenomena of very small systems such as elementary particles to the very largest systems found in astronomy. Physics is an essential part of everyday life: when we turn on a light, listen to a CD, or check the weather forecast, we are reaping the practical benefits of generations of physics research.

Study in Physics at UCL is provided by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and is based on topics recommended by the Institute of Physics, providing a transition from school to university level study.

Astrophysics courses include evening practicals and observational work at the University of London Observatory (ULO) at Mill Hill, in north London. Among the many telescopes used for teaching astrophysics undergraduates, there are two with 24-inch aperture, and pride of place goes to the unique Radcliffe twin refractor (24-inch + 18-inch). Most of the larger telescopes are equipped with computer control, for precise positional guidance.

Medical Physics is the application of physics principles to medicine and healthcare. Medical physicists work in both hospitals and universities, in healthcare specialties such as radiology (medical imaging), nuclear medicine, radiation protection, and radiation oncology. Without Medical Physics, there would be no stethoscopes, X-Rays, MRI scanners, particle accelerators, or computer-assisted tomography.

For more information on UCL Physics and Astronomy please visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy website and for more information on UCL Medical Physics, please visit the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering website.

Earth Science

Modern Earth Sciences is as dynamic and diverse as the planet (planets!) it studies.  We study everything from the origin of the Earth to  the history of the life it sustains. We are an integrative, interdisciplinary, modern science. We use and apply state-of-the-art maths, physics, chemistry and biology on a daily basis to uncover fundamental knowledge about Earth and other planets. And we apply that knowledge to practical issues like climate change and groundwater pollution. 

Right here at UCL, we use ground and satellite observations to see how fast the Arctic and Antartctic ice sheets are melting and climate past and present. We study the fundamental motions that generate violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. We look for new natural resources and study groundwater pollution. We look deep into the interior to see how materials behave at pressures a million times greater than the surface and temperatures as hot as the sun. We look past Earth to the solar system and beyond.

  • Geosciences

For more information on UCL Earth Sciences, please visit the Department of Earth Sciences website.

Science and Technology Studies

Science covers everything from the origin of the universe to the innermost workings of our brains.  Scientists are consulted by world leaders and law courts, advertisers and athletes.  Yet, while science tries to understand everything, how well do we understand science itself? How secure are the methods of science?  When, where and how did science originate as a distinct type of knowledge?  What accounts for the extraordinary success and diversity of science in the modern world?

For more information on UCL Science and Technology Studies, please visit the Department of Science and Technology Studies website.

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics and statistics have long been associated with physics, evolutionary biology and genetics, and with some areas of chemistry and Earth sciences.  Over the years quantitative, analytical and mathematical techniques have become commonplace in many other areas of physical, biological and biomedical sciences.  In recent years with the development of high performance computers mathematical and statistical techniques can be applied to complex fields ranging from climate modelling and biomathematics to financial systems.

For students taking this stream, the first and second years contain a roughly equal balance of mathematics and statistics.  In the third year the emphasis can be more on either mathematics or statistics.  Regardless of this choice, the advanced quantitative training provided by this stream will be seen as highly attractive by many employers.  Students who concentrate on statistics after their second year as a major stream will also be qualified for postgraduate study and (in the case of MSci students) research in statistics.

The Mathematics, Statistics and Physics departments currently offer modules into one stream:

For more information on UCL Mathematics please visit the Department of Mathematics website and for more information on UCL Statistics, please visit the Department of Statistical Sciences website.