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Natural Sciences Tripos


Thinking about the third year

The Tripos is designed to allow you to specialise in your third year and choose one subject to study in depth, or you may choose to combine the study of two or more subjects.

A number of Departments who teach within the Tripos have a restricted number of places and there is an annual allocation exercise which takes place in the Easter Term. It therefore cannot be guaranteed on entry to Cambridge that you will be accepted for a particular Part II course. Further details will be provided by your Directors of Studies.

Successful completion of the third year leads to the award of a BA degree.

The courses available are:

  • Astrophysics*
  • Biochemistry*
  • Chemistry*
  • Genetics
  • Earth Sciences*
  • History and Philosophy of Science*
  • Materials Science*
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics*
  • Physiology Development and Neuroscience
  • Plant Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Zoology

In some subjects (marked with an asterix above) a fourth year of study leading to an additional MSci degree is available.

Note on BPS accreditation: For those who have met the examination requirements for NST IA Mathematical Biology, NST IB Experimental Psychology and NST Part II Psychology, the degree received is recognised by the British Psychological Society as conferring 'graduate basis for registration', an essential prerequisite for postgraduate training and practice in certain professional branches of psychology.

Alternatively, students may opt to take a more general course, choosing two subjects from a wider range of topics. These courses allow students to retain a wider breadth of science to a higher level.


Further information on each subject is available in the programme specification and on the course websites.