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Natural Sciences (Physical)

Typical Offers Require

A Level: A*A*A IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

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. Natural Scientists have a relatively structured programme of morning lectures and a number of 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.

Subject Requirements

Essential: A Level in Mathematics and two of Physics, Chemistry or Further Mathematics / IB Higher Level in Mathematics and two of Physics, Chemistry or Further Mathematics.

Highly Desirable: A further subject from Physics, Chemistry or Further Maths to A level / IB Higher Level.

Most of our physical scientists have taken A levels / IB Higher Levels in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and AS or A level in Further Maths.  Mathematics is essential in all the Physical sciences and should be taken to the highest level your school offers.

Written Work


Admission Assessments

Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT): pre-registration required

Director(s) of Studies

Dr Bill Nolan - Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Chemistry)
Dr Bartomeu Monserrat - Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Physics and Astrophysics) 

Dr S Falk - Director of Studies (History and Philosophy of Science)
Prof Rachel Oliver - Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Materials Science)
Prof Alex Copley - Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences)

Teaching Fellows in Natural Sciences (Physical)

Prof Melinda Duer - Chemistry (Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance)
Dr Paul Griffiths - Chemistry (Atmospheric Science)
Dr Peter Newton - Physics (Semiconductor Physics)
Dr Christopher Truscott - Chemistry (X-ray Crystallography) 

Natural Sciences  (information from Cambridge Admissions website)

Natural Sciences Tripos  (NatSci web site – very useful)

Updated June 2023