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The First Year - Part IA

Students may enter Part IA of the Tripos if they have satisfied the criteria for admission specified for the Tripos, and have been admitted to a Cambridge College.

Students take four subjects: three experimental subjects and mathematics taken from the lists below. The choice of mathematical subject is normally based on previous knowledge and the student's aspirations; a Director of Studies will offer firm advice on the most appropriate option.

Experimental Subjects

  • Biology of Cells
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Evolution and Behaviour
  • Materials Science
  • Physics
  • Physiology of Organisms


  • Elementary Mathematics for Biologists
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematical Biology


Further information on each subject is available in the programme specification, on the course website, and in the subject summary.

The Biology of Cells and Computer Science options cannot be combined.

Students are expected to attend, for each of the four subjects taken, three lectures, one supervision and an average of three or four hours of practical work during each week of the eight-week terms. College Directors of Studies give further advice on appropriate levels of extracurricular study.