Natural Sciences MSci
Natural Sciences enables students to combine science subject areas, known as "streams", reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of high-quality, internationally leading research undertaken at UCL. The first three years of the MSci follow the structure of our BSc programme. In the fourth year, you will deepen and extend your knowledge of one stream by undertaking a major research project as well as specialist taught study.
- UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
- Application deadline
- 26 January 2022
- London, Bloomsbury
- Any two subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.
- Please note: 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.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- AAB (more about contextual offers)
- Grades AA in any two subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- A total of 19 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score lower than 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.
- 36 (more about contextual offers)
- A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including 6 in two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score lower than 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.
D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. To include any two subjects from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology.
A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). To include any two subjects from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*AA. To include any two subjects from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
The core stream structure provides you with module options from across a spectrum of disciplines - physical, life and brain sciences.
You may broaden your knowledge further by selecting optional modules 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.
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.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
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. Equal weighting is applied to the major and minor stream in the first and second years. During the third year, the balance of study shifts towards your chosen major stream whilst you still continue with the minor stream. The final year of the MSci involves a major research project in your major stream, and taught modules at masters level, typically these are all in the major stream although you may pick a most two modules in your minor stream.
All natural sciences students undertake a common mathematics module and three "foundation" modules in the first term of their first year. The foundation modules cover broad science subject areas and help students get a sense of what a subject is like at university level. Students narrow down these three areas to their two streams by the second term.
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.
Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MSci (Hons) in your chosen Natural Sciences stream.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
The first term comprises a compulsory mathematics module and foundation modules introducing the streams that are offered. You will select three foundation modules from the following:
Mathematics and Statistics
Physics and Astronomy
Science and Technology Studies
In your second term you will choose two core streams in the following areas:
Earth and Environment
Genetics, Evolution and Environment
History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science**
Inorganic and Materials Chemistry
Mathematics and Statistics*
Molecular and Cell Biology
Neuroscience and Psychology
*May only be pursued as a minor stream after year two
**May only be pursued as a major stream in the BSc; MSci students may only take it as a minor.
A full list of streams and allowed stream combinations may be found on the Natural Sciences website.
You will take modules in your two core streams. Both streams have equal weighting, amounting to 45 credits of core (mandatory) modules per stream, plus a compulsory Scientific Communication and Computing module. At the end of the second year, you will choose one of the streams as a major stream.
You can select one optional module, worth 15 credits. This can be taken outside the main Natural Sciences subject areas, such as in foreign languages, management, etc, provided they do not clash with core modules and space is available on them.
Major stream: You will take 60 credits in your major stream including a compulsory literature review (15 credits).
Minor stream: You will take 45 credits in your minor stream.
You can select one optional module worth 15 credits during your third year.
At least 90 out of 120 credits must be taken in your major stream. This includes a mandatory research project that may be 45 or 60 credits, depending on the discipline.
You will select your remaining credits from masters level taught modules. There may be some modules that are compulsory and some that are recommended, as well as options for you to choose from.
A variety of teaching methods are employed, including lecture classes, practical sessions such as laboratory or field work (dependent on stream choice), and small-group tutorials. You will also be expected to spend a substantial amount of time on coursework and private study.
Some streams involve optional modules with field trips, typically these are in Earth Sciences.
Contact hours can vary from stream to stream, reflecting how different scientific discplianes may be more practical and laboratory based or theoretical and involve extensive reading or searching of literature.
Assessment is primarily through end-of-year examinations for lecture-based modules, whereas practical work is continuously assessed. Coursework is important and must be passed to allow progression from one year to the next.
Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Natural Sciences MSci.
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.
UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
“My favourite part of Natural Sciences is the interdisciplinary outlook it gives on science. All of the ground-breaking research and technological advances happening today stem from this outlook, and this programme allows you to explore the links between disciplines.”Daniel Jacobson - Natural Sciences MSci Second Year
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below. Fees for the 2022/23 academic year will be advertised as soon as they are available.
- UK students
- £9,250 (2021/22)
- Overseas students
- £31,200 (2021/22)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
Typically there are not additional associated costs that students are likely to incur, although this may vary from stream to steam. There are field trips on the “Earth and Environment” and “Geophysical Sciences“ streams, although all such modules are optional. Students are typically expected to cover train travel and smaller costs such as lunches, which in total can cost between £200-300.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
Page last modified on 7 June 2021