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Programme Aims of the Natural Sciences Tripos

The programme aims to:

  • provide an education of the highest calibre across all sciences in order to produce graduates of the quality sought by industry, the professions, and the public service, and to provide academic teachers and researchers for the future
  • provide a broad introduction to a range of sciences and scientific skills at University level, through having studied at least three experimental science subjects and mathematics to some extent
  • allow students to develop specialised knowledge in one or more subjects, by studying these in depth if they so choose
  • provide an intellectually stimulating environment in which students have the opportunity to develop their skills and enthusiasms to the best of their potential
  • attract outstanding students from all backgrounds

Programme Outcomes for the Natural Sciences Tripos

Students who qualify with a B.A degree, having taken Parts IA, IB and II of the Natural Sciences Tripos, should have:

  • had experience of a number of broad areas of science from a choice of options, taken to an advanced level, at which current research can be appreciated in some depth
  • completed courses designed to increase their understanding of the broad applicability of their chosen subject in the wider context of scientific study
  • had experience of independent work, including an introduction to aspects of scientific research
  • substantially developed intellectual and professional skills in key areas of science
  • substantially developed experimental and data analysis skills through a wide range of experiments in the practical laboratories to illustrate major themes of the lecture courses
  • substantially developed communication and management skills through individual and group activities.

Students who qualify with an M.Sci. degree, having also taken Part III of the Natural Sciences Tripos, should have:

  • carried out a substantial independent research project in their chosen field and become well-prepared for a career in academic or industrial research.


Each major course of the Tripos has identified its aims, learning outcomes, teaching and learning methods, assessment and any prerequisite courses.  These can be found in the subject specifications.

Part IA Subject specifications

Part IB Subject specifications

Part II Subject specifications

Part III Subject specifications