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Natural Sciences - Course Requirements

The University of Cambridge offers an undergraduate degree in Natural Science. The course is well built and designed to impart quality education. It must be noted that in the following Mathematics/Science subjects' refers to Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physics and Further Mathematics. However, it does not include Psychology.

'A' Levels

The distinctive 'A' level offer is A*AA. The course is flexible in nature and students will find it useful to have a strong knowledge foundation across a broad range of Mathematics and Science subjects. Some of the students have Mathematics/Science subjects at 'A' level. 'A' level out of Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Physics are the minimum offered that students are happy with a limited choice of subjects in the first year. An additional Mathematics/Science subject at either 'A' or AS level is useful.

Students can not study a grouping of three biological subjects without 'A' level Chemistry. 'A' level Mathematics is necessary for the Computer Science and Physical Sciences option. Subsequently, the specific requirements for part first 'A' paper options are given in part first 'A'. Some of the colleges may consider applicants offering two Mathematics/Science subjects at 'A' level additionally, one or more non-science subject.

In these situations, the applicants may usually be expected to obtain the *A grade in one of the Mathematics/Science subjects. Based upon the subject choice, these applicants are possibly to be at some disadvantage as compared with applicants of comparable ability to take three Mathematics/Sciences 'A' levels, especially in the physical sciences. Such applicants are encouraged to take an additional Mathematics/Science AS level, the more helpful combinations are:

  • A level Mathematics, A level Chemistry and AS Physics
  • A level Chemistry, A level Biology and AS Mathematics or Physics
  • A level Mathematics, A level Physics and AS Further Mathematics

Applicants who take Mathematics and Physics at 'A' level but not Chemistry are motivated to take additional Mathematics modules. They may like to take into consideration Physics with Mathematics course and Computer Science Course. Hughes Hall and Trinity both require three Science 'A' levels:

  • At Trinity this must include 'A' level Mathematics
  • At Hughes Hall Mathematics is the only required for Natural Sciences (Physical)

Three Science 'A' levels comprising 'A' level Mathematics are required for admission to Natural Sciences at St John's College.

International Baccalaureate

If students are studying the International Baccalaureate, then they must note that the advice below about the subject combinations also applies along with Standard Level subjects generally comparable to AS levels and Higher Level Subjects nearly comparable to 'A' levels. IB applicants shall usually be asked for an overall score of between 39 and 42 points out of 45 with 7,7,7, or 7,7,6 in higher level subjects.

Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers

Applicants who are taking Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers must note that the advice above subject grouping also applies with Highers usually comparable to AS levels and Advanced Highers to 'A' levels. Applicants who are taking three Mathematics/Sciences subjects at Advanced Higher level shall generally be asked for AAB/AAA grades in these Advanced Highers.

The Examination Systems

Applicants who are taking other recognized exams expected to have a level of understanding in Mathematics and Science usually equivalent to those who are applying with 'A' levels. Students are advised to visit the entrance requirements page on the university website for details of entrance requirements for other qualifications. They may consult any admission tutor for further advice.


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