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Selection Criteria

The information below refers to the 2022-23 intake.  Information for 2023-24 will be provided soon.

Biological Sciences:

Including Biological Anthropology and HPS.

Biochemistry

Research project places: 40 BBS places: 7 Academic Contact:
Dr Darerca Owen
Admin Contact:
ug-admin@bioc.cam.ac.uk
For Natural Scientists, we take your 3 subject scores in NST IB, add in your IB Biochemistry mark again (i.e., give double weighting to your performance in Biochemistry) and prepare a ranked order of merit based on the 3 subjects plus the Biochemistry mark. For students taking CDB but not Biochemistry in NST IB, we treat your CDB mark in the same way as the Biochemistry mark.
For Medical and Veterinary students, we will take your IB performance (total) and adjust it to give a total out of 400 (i.e., bring it in line with the NST total) and add this to the ranked order of merit. For those wishing to proceed to Part III after Part II, additional information together with Entry Requirements can be accessed via the Part III pages.

Biological Anthropology

Number of places: 20 Academic Contact:
Dr Guy Jacobs
Admin Contact:

Biological Anthropology is part of the Archaeology Tripos. Our general policy is to give a student a place provided they have obtained an overall Part IB exam mark of at least a high 2.2. If we are oversubscribed our policy is to take students with the highest overall Part IB exam marks regardless of whether they are medics, vets or natural scientists. In addition we expect medics and vets to have all their exemptions.

For Biological Anthropology Minor subjects in NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences there is a quota of 15 for students reading each of the papers: 103, 104 and 105. Again our general policy is to give a student a place provided they have obtained an overall Part IB exam mark of at least a high 2.2. If we are oversubscribed our policy is to take the students with the highest overall Part IB exam marks regardless of whether they are a medic or vet. We expect medics and vets to have all their exemptions.

Where a good case is made, we are prepared to exceed the quota if our overall Department teaching commitments permit.

Genetics

Research project places: 28 BBS places: 10

Academic Contact:
Dr Christine Farr

Admin Contact:

The Department currently offers 28 places on its single subject Part II course, which involves a research project, and a further 10 places on Part II BBS, which involves a dissertation. Both routes are open to NST and MVST students. Students will be asked to indicate their preference for either single subject Genetics, or for Part II BBS, when they make their subject choices.

We do not currently interview students for places on the Part II Genetics course. We make every effort to accommodate all those students who put single subject Genetics as their first choice. However, we do reserve the right to investigate the background of students who achieve poor results at Part I, by contacting their Tutor or DoS to obtain an informal assessment. Students whose Part I academic performance suggest that they will struggle in single subject Part II Genetics will be considered for Part II BBS.

If single subject Part II Genetics is oversubscribed, students will be offered the option of doing a genetics course via Part II BBS. If both routes are oversubscribed, we will make our selection on the basis of academic performance in Part IA and Part IB.

Any students not placed after this process will be put on a waiting list, and can be offered a place if any students in the initial cohort drop out.

Further information is available on the Department of Genetics web site

History and Philosophy of Science

Research project places: 30 BBS places: 12

Academic Contact:
Dr Stephen John

Admin Contact:
administrator@hps.cam.ac.uk

We try to take everyone who puts HPS down as their first choice, but if we are oversubscribed the decision on which current NST Part IB HPS students we take is based on their examination performance in NST Part IB HPS. For students who have not taken NST Part IB HPS, we arrange for the student to have a brief interview with one of the Department's teaching officers and we ask for a 300-word statement prior to the interview that describes the students' academic background to date and explains why they want to take NST Part II HPS. Students wishing to transfer from other Triposes must also arrange for their current DoS to write a letter of support to the Head of Department, including a breakdown of their examination results.

NST Part II BBS Minor subject - History of Medicine.

We offer 3 single subject papers on History of Medicine: Early Medicine; Modern Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; and Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine. We will try to take everyone who wishes to take these papers, but may restrict the numbers of dissertations if they are very popular.

Pathology

Research project places: 50 BBS places: 30

Academic Contact:
Dr Nick Holmes

Admin Contact:
teach@path.cam.ac.uk

Pathology currently offers up to 50 places on its single subject (project) course and an additional 20 places on its part II BBS (dissertation) course.  Both courses offer the same core lecture material, but BBS students study an additional minor subject.   Part II places are allocated to students principally on the basis of their Part IB NST or MVST examination results. 

Usually applicants will have taken MedST/VetST Biology of Disease or NST Biology of Disease at IB.

Students study two options from a choice of Cancer and Genetic Disease (CGD), Immunology, Virology, Microbial and Parasitic Disease or Dynamics of Infectious Disease (DID). All combinations are permissible except CGD and DID.  We ask that students complete a departmental application form to indicate their preference for either single subject or BBS Pathology and to indicate their option choices.  This allows us to determine how many projects and dissertations are required in each option area.   

We make every effort to offer students a place on our single subject (project) course, but if it is oversubscribed students may have the opportunity to study pathology via the BBS route. Students selecting Pathology project preferred in the application process will automatically be considered for BBS Pathology.  Further information on all our courses and an electronic application form are available on the Department of Pathology website:

https://www.path.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/third_year/how-to-apply

Pharmacology

Research projects places: 25 BBS places: 25

Academic Contact:
Dr David Bulmer

Admin Contact:
phar-undergradadmin@lists.cam.ac.uk
We take the 'best' students, based on their overall mark at Part IB. Sometimes, for instance when marks are very close together, we use the mark in NST Part IB Pharmacology or Medic/Vet Tripos Part IB Mechanisms of Drug Action as a tie-breaker. We do not distinguish between Medics/Vets and Natural Scientists.

Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Research projects places: 50 BBS places: 25

Academic Contact:
Dr Hannah Clarke
Dr Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri

Admin Contact:

For all courses, students are asked to complete a departmental application form. This must be returned to the NST Part II Physiology, Development and Neuroscience Course Organiser by early May. Part II places are allocated to students principally on the basis of their Part IB examination results, also taking into account their results in courses most relevant to Physiology, Development and Neuroscience.

The courses offered within Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Major and Minor Subjects) consist of one module or a combination of four modules from Part II Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. A maximum of 25 students will be accepted for the BBS Major Subjects subject to any constraints imposed on particular modules because of the style of teaching and the availability of space.  BBS Major Subject students have a free choice of modules subject only to timetabling exclusions.  In the event of modules being oversubscribed students will be accepted in the following order of preference: 1) Part II Physiology, Development and Neuroscience; 2) BBS Major Subject; 3) BBS Minor Subject, in order of Part IB examination results.

Plant Sciences

Research project places: 28 BBS places: 8

Academic Contact:
Dr Ian Henderson

Admin Contact:

A meeting and reception are held at the end of the Lent Term for those considering the course in the following academic year. At this meeting, the structure and content of the course and the nature of the assessment procedures are described. There is no formal application procedure but prospective students are invited to discuss their interests and the most suitable combination of modules with a member of staff.

Selection is based on performance in Part IB and students who do poorly may be interviewed formally by a member of staff before they are accepted.

Plant and Microbial Sciences IB is not a course requirement however, if you wish to conduct a research project at Part II you must achieve a Class II mark at IB in at least two subjects.

Psychology

Research project places: 40 BBS places: 20

Academic Contact:
Dr Kate Plaisted-Grant

Admin Contact:

The Department of Psychology will accept not more than 60 applicants in total to read the following two courses:

  1. NST Part II Psychology, or
  2. NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Major Subject Psychology).

The Department is indifferent to applicants' choices between these two courses, except that the number of available projects is constrained to a maximum of 40, and the total for (a) and (b) must not exceed 60.

NST Part II Psychology is part of the route accredited by the British Psychological Society along with the completion of NST IB Experimental Psychology.   It is therefore the course recommended to those students who plan to enter postgraduate training in professional psychology.

The majority of students will have taken either MVST IB or NST Part IB Experimental Psychology. 

Applicants from NST Part IB and MVST Part IB will be admitted according to their aggregate marks in those examinations. Those wishing to enter NST Part II Psychology after taking NST IB Experimental Psychology will be expected to have completed all the second-year practical requirements in Experimental Psychology.

If the Department is oversubscribed, places are offered on the basis of overall Part IB results without discriminating MVST from NST students. Around the borderline, selection is on an individual basis, in consultation with Directors of Studies. The main criterion will still be Part IB results, taking particular notice of marks in relevant subjects. We hold a waiting list over summer, offering places if an accepted student drops out.

Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

Resreach project places: 25 BBS places: 15

Academic Contact:
Dr David Belin

Admin Contact:
If the course is oversubscribed, places are offered on the basis of overall Part IB results without discriminating MVST from NST students. Around the borderline, selection is on an individual basis, in consultation with Directors of Studies, but the main criterion will still be Part IB results, taking particular notice of marks in relevant subjects. We hold a waiting list over the summer; offering places if an accepted student drops out.

Zoology

Research project places: 55 BBS places: 25

Academic Contact:
Dr Tim Weil

Admin Contact:

For Part II Zoology or for Zoology as a Major Subject within Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS), our selection procedure involves taking into account Part 1B NST or MVST results. We hold a waiting list over the summer to accommodate any changes students wish to make during this period. In this way, we seek to take the maximum number of students that our resources within the Department can allow.

Further information is available on the Department of Zoology website:

www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/study/third-year-ug/NST-II-Zoology

Physical Sciences

Most Physics Science department do not have any place number restrictions.  Where these are listed they are very rarely exceeded.  The exception is Materials Sciences.  Part II Physical Sciences information can be found here.

Astrophysics

Number of Places: Unlimited

Academic Contact:
Prof Cathie Clarke

Admin Contact:

For more information on the course, please use the link from the list of Part II courses at: Course websites

From the list of programme specifications check your eligibility: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/subject-information/pII-folder

For those wishing to proceed to Part III after Part II, additional information together with Entry Requirements can be accessed via http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/fourth.

You are additionally advised that two thirds of the Part III course involves attending, and being examined in, courses given in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos and should be aware that the normal level expected of mathematicians taking Part III is a First or a good Upper Second in Part II Mathematics.  Students from Part II Mathematics will be considered on a case-by-case basis because it is required that they should have demonstrated a good grasp of at least three appropriate applied mathematics courses in the examination.

Chemistry

Number of Places: 120

Academic Contact:
Dr Bill Nolan
wpn1000@cam.ac.uk

For more information on the course, please use the link from the list of Part II courses at http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/contacts/course-websites.

From the list of programme specifications check your eligibility: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/subject-information/pII-folder

For those wishing to proceed to Part III after Part II, additional information together with Entry Requirements can be accessed via: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/fourth

If you are interested in taking Chemistry as part of Part II Physical Sciences please refer to: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/third/physicalsciences.

Earth Sciences

Number of Places: 50

Academic Contact:
Dr Neil Davies

Admin Contact:

For more information on the course, please use the link from the list of Part II courses at http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/contacts/course-websites.

From the list of programme specifications check your eligibility: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/subject-information/pII-folder

For those wishing to proceed to Part III after Part II, additional information together with Entry Requirements can be accessed via: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/fourth

If you are interested in taking Earth Sciences as part of Part II Physical Sciences please refer to: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/third/physicalsciences.

Materials Science

Number of Places: 40 Admin Contact:

For more information on the course, please use the link from the list of Part II courses at http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/contacts/course-websites.

From the list of programme specifications check your eligibility: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/subject-information/pII-folder

Entry into Part II Materials Science is normally restricted to students who have studied Part IB Materials Science. Special consideration may be given to others who have not studied this course, if they have taken Part IA Materials Science.

If the course is oversubscribed, we will make our selection on the basis of academic performance in IB Materials Science.

For those wishing to proceed to Part III after Part II, additional information together with Entry Requirements can be accessed via:http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/fourth

Physics

Number of Places: Unlimited

Academic Contact:
Dr Ulrich Schneider

Admin Contact:
undergraduate-office@phy.cam.ac.uk

For more information on the course, please use the link from the list of Part II courses at http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/contacts/course-websites.

From the list of programme specifications check your eligibility: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/subject-information/pII-folder

For those wishing to proceed to Part III after Part II, additional information together with Entry Requirements can be accessed via: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/fourth

If you are interested in taking Physics as part of Part II Physical Sciences please refer to: http://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/students/third/physicalsciences.