Natural Sciences is the framework within which most science ‘subjects’ are taught at Cambridge.
Natural Sciences offers both physical and biological scientists a unique and demanding course that combines a broad first year with increasing specialisation in the second year and total specialisation in the third and, in some disciplines, fourth years.
The breadth and flexibility of the Natural Sciences Tripos reflect the blurring of boundaries between the different sciences: biological problems are increasingly being solved using techniques which require an understanding of physics and chemistry, whilst many of the most pressing problems being addressed by physicists, chemists and materials scientists require a knowledge of biology. You are not admitted to Cambridge to read a single subject but select three subject options plus maths in the first year. After this, you go on to specialize during the last year or two of your three or four degree course.
Natural Sciences at Churchill
Churchill has a mission in science and technology. As such, we have a large community of natural scientists. The College has a very large Fellowship across the Natural Sciences and our Library is extremely well resourced. Teaching arrangements at Churchill follow the University-wide supervision system, to make sure you receive expert guidance and encouragement throughout your time here.
At Churchill, we emphasise the diverse range of options available to natural scientists from the outset. In the first week of your first term, you’ll hear presentations from our Directors of Studies about the range of subjects available to you, before you select your preferences. You might come to this meeting with a very clear idea about the subjects you want to take, but you might equally have not fully made up your mind (although it’s fair to say that most natural scientists think of themselves as being predominantly physical scientists or biological scientists).
To find out about admissions, go to undergraduate applications.
Course-specific information, including the University’s typical offers and the attainment level of the University’s typical entrants, is available by selecting your course from the University’s Course List then looking at the Entry Requirements tab. Academic offer conditions can vary by College so if you want to apply to Churchill then check out our entries in the by-College list of entry requirements that’s available on the same tab. The University’s Entrance Requirements and International Entry Requirements webpages may contain guidance relevant to you too.
You can learn more about the academic profiles of Churchill entrants and our approach to setting conditional offers on our undergraduate applications page.
All Natural Sciences applicants are required to take a written assessment before shortlisting for interview. There’s more information on and linked from the University’s Admissions Assessments webpage.
The role of academic interviews in Churchill’s admissions process is explained on our interviews page. Our interviewers will be looking for evidence of enthusiasm for and a potential for aptitude in the subjects covered by the Natural Sciences course.