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Natural Sciences Tripos


What is Natural Sciences?

The rigid scientific disciplines of the past are blurring and the Natural Sciences Tripos reflects that there are no hard boundaries between the different sciences.

The Natural Sciences Tripos is the framework within which most of the science is taught in Cambridge and allows you to study a range of sciences. It is taught primarily by sixteen Departments across the Schools of Biological and Physical Sciences, and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.


How teaching works at Cambridge

Departments provide the structure for the Tripos, teaching in lectures and practical and examples classes; all students are members of a Cambridge College, which provides advice on the direction of studies and, in collaboration with the Departments, small-group teaching (supervisions).

The flexibility of Natural Sciences means you can:

  • Study a range of new and familiar areas in the sciences before deciding what to specialise in;
  • Discover the interconnections between apparently diverse subjects;
  • Gain experience of using a range of different scientific methods.


Three years or four years?

The Natural Sciences programme is offered as a full-time course and normally lasts for three years, after which you will graduate with a BA.  Some subjects offer a fourth year integrated Masters course (the M.Sci). Students have a wide choice of subjects in the first and second years and therefore each student has an individual programme of courses leading to their degree.