The Natural Sciences course is designed to allow students a large degree of flexibility in their studies. Students need not have a plan for the entire course as they can study a broad range of subjects in the first year and then become increasingly specialised in the area that most interests them. While Natural Science students can afford to be undecided about their future specialisation, they must nevertheless be committed and highly motivated as the course is demanding and challenging for even the most gifted students.
Before applying, you need to choose between the Biological and Physical streams of the course, as applications are assessed separately. Many Biology students have a strong interest in Chemistry and study it alongside biological subjects, but we advise that applicants who wish to specialise in Chemistry apply through the Physical route.
Natural Scientists have a structured programme of morning lectures and afternoon practical classes. However, they still find time to pursue a wide range of social and sporting activities within the College and further afield.
Our Natural Science students find Robinson a friendly and stimulating place to study. During their time here, many students will progress through the range of subjects towards a planned specialisation, while for others it is a chance to discover exciting courses and interesting areas of scientific research they had not previously considered.
Note: When applying for Natural Sciences at Cambridge, you need to indicate on your My Cambridge Application whether you wish to apply for Biological or Physical sciences.
Essential: A Level Chemistry or its equivalent is virtually essential, plus one other science or Mathematics at A Level.
Highly Desirable: A Level Biology and Mathematics.
Most of our biologists have taken Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry at A Level or HL (International Baccalaureate) or other recognised qualifications. We do consider applicants with different combinations of science subjects, but we expect to see evidence of knowledge in at least two of Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics in the admission assessment and at interview (see below).
Please also see Natural Sciences requirements on the university website.
No written work required.
All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for Natural Sciences at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college). For further information on the assessment format, please view the entry requirements tab on: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences.
Candidates sit two subject interviews of 25 minutes each, covering a broad range of scientific topics. Each interview will consist of a series of problems or topics for discussion. You may be asked questions about your personal statement (e.g. books you ahve read, research experience, EPQ etc.)
Director(s) of Studies
Dr Olivier Restif (Part IA and 1B): Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine
Expertise: mathematical biology, epidemiology, microbiology.
Dr Colin Crump (Part II and III): Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
Expertise: virology, cell biology, biochemistry.
Other Fellows in Natural Sciences (Biological) and Medicine (Pre-clinical)
Natural Sciences (information from Cambridge Undergraduate Admissions)
Natural Sciences Tripos (NatSci web site – very useful)
Updated September 2022