Natural Sciences BSc

Year of entry

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UCAS code
BCF1
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
A*AA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
AAB
Full entry requirements
Accredited
Yes

Course overview

Two students in a physics lab at the University of Leeds.

In recent years, the demand for scientists to tackle a variety of complex problems by bringing together the ideas of different disciplines has grown significantly.

Often, the challenges we face globally in areas such as sustainability, energy, material resources, and advancements in medicine need an interdisciplinary approach in order to gain a deeper understanding from multiple angles and ultimately provide solutions for the future. That’s why natural sciences graduates are highly sought after by an array of industries to bring their wide range of knowledge and skills to deliver invaluable insight into the issues of today.

Studying natural sciences at Leeds gives you the opportunity to branch out across scientific disciplines, learning the fundamental concepts of each, whilst tailoring the course to the areas that interest you the most. You’ll also be taught by expert academics, with the unique opportunity to get involved in active, real-world research happening across the University.

Here at Leeds, our courses are professionally accredited by the Society for Natural Sciences, giving you the industry recognised qualification needed to pursue a career in this sector.

You’ll also have access to specialist facilities right here on campus, alongside exciting opportunities like studying abroad and industrial work placements, to ensure you have the best grounding to head out into your professional career.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This course is accredited by the Society for Natural Sciences.
  • Our interdisciplinary research centres like the Priestley International Centre for Climate, Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics the Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics, the Centre for HealthTech Innovation and the Bragg Centre for Materials Research produce globally-renowned research that feeds directly into your course, shaping what you learn with the latest thinking.
  • Experience expert teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers at the forefront of science who specialise in a variety of disciplines.
  • Access our specialist facilities and laboratories that are fully equipped with the latest technology and research-grade equipment to provide a creative and stimulating learning environment.
  • Tailor your degree to complement your interests with a fully flexible course made up of extensive optional modules that can be designed to suit your career aspirations.
  • Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our industrial work placement opportunities. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — major organisations such as Unilever, Syngenta and Phillips 66.
  • Gain invaluable life experience and advance your personal development with our exciting study abroad programmes, spanning across universities worldwide.
  • At the end of your second year, there is the possibility of transferring to the four-year integrated Masters (MNatSci, BSc) course.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining the Natural Sciences Society where you can meet more of your peers, enjoy social events and attend careers events.

Accreditation

Society for Natural Sciences

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This course is accredited by the Society of Natural Sciences.

This BSc degree is accredited as providing students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills in core science subjects, while also enhancing the interdisciplinary and transferable skills recognised by employers and professional organisations.

Course details

We are currently reviewing our curriculum as part of a university-wide process. As a result, we are unable to publish module information for this course at this time. The information below provides an overview of what you’ll study and our approach to teaching and assessment. We will update this page as soon as the changes are confirmed. Read more in our terms and conditions.

This content was last updated on 3 April 2023.

On this course, the concepts and language of multiple sciences are taught to you from the beginning. You’ll build solid foundations in three science subjects, coming to specialise in two subjects in your final year.

Our subject pathways cover a range of disciplines, providing a highly flexible course structure that you can tailor to fit your interests.

The available subjects are:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental science
  • Food science and nutrition
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Throughout your time in Leeds, you'll be given guidance and support from academic staff to help plan your studies and subject choices to build a coherent degree programme tailored to your particular talents and interests.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

Year 1

In your first year, you’ll initially study three subjects from a choice of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, environmental science, food science and nutrition, mathematics and physics. You’ll study 30 credits of each of your three subjects, enabling you to work across more than one science discipline. Specific pathways within each subject area are described below.

All natural sciences students also take a 20-credit core module that covers key practical skills in an interdisciplinary context. This module will establish the interdisciplinary ethos behind your degree programme whilst also developing your experience of experimental design and proficiency in the presentation and analysis of scientific data to prepare you for further study and research throughout your university education and beyond.

Your development as a natural sciences student will be supported by a 10-credit maths module, which will complement your core modules and develop mathematical skills central to modern science.

Year 2

In your second year, you’ll specialise in two of the three subjects taken in your first year.

You'll take a minimum of 40 credits in each subject, with an additional 20 credits available for you to choose from a wide range of science options. This enables you to either study your two subjects with equal weightings, to study two subjects with a major/minor split, or to study up to 20 credits of another related science.

A 20-credit core module for all natural sciences students will further your development as an interdisciplinary scientist, advancing your skills in research, scientific writing, scientific and professional ethics, personal development, planning and scientific programming.

Fieldwork opportunities may be available in years 2 and 3 if you’re specialising in environment or biology.

Year 3

In your third year, you'll continue to study the two subjects you have chosen to focus on in your second year.

You'll take a total of 80 credits of science modules, which will include at least 40 credits of one of your core subjects and at least 20 credits of your other core subject. You can choose to take a further 20 credits in either subject or pick from a wide range of options available to suit your interests.

You'll also undertake a 20-credit project module in one of your two subjects, giving you the opportunity to investigate a topic at the cutting edge of science in an area that interests you in greater depth. As part of your project work, you'll develop transferable skills such as communication and time management. You’ll work collaboratively with your supervisors throughout the project, who will be experts in your particular research area.

Your training as an interdisciplinary scientist will be supported through a 20-credit module taken by all natural sciences students. This module will develop your digital, research and communication skills, whilst also advancing your awareness of scientific careers in interdisciplinary environments. You'll be given opportunities to investigate an area of current scientific research and plan for continuing professional development by building an awareness of personal strengths and development needs.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either work in a one-year industrial placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.

Want to know more about the subject pathways?

We offer seven subject pathways, giving you the flexibility to shape the course to fit your career aspirations and interests. Learn more about the subject pathways available.

Learning and teaching

As a Natural Sciences student at Leeds, we ensure that you benefit from a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials, and practical work.

Laboratory classes and project work allow you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real-life situations. Together, they will equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.

You’ll be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, and you'll receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme. Peer mentors are students who are on your course, but are in years 2, 3, or 4. They’ll help you when you arrive at University and throughout your first year. You’ll meet your peer mentors during your first week for a social activity.

Taster lectures

Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Most modules are assessed by more than one component. Components can include examinations, assignments, written reports, presentations and oral discussions throughout the programme, which will build up your skills in these areas.

The majority of subject combinations will require you to write a dissertation as part of your degree, however, assessments may vary between modules with some requiring additional practical lab work, fieldwork or other data-driven projects.

In your final year, alongside assessed theory modules, you’ll perform a major research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff, which will contribute to the final mark you’re awarded.

Entry requirements

A-level: A*AA including sciences relating to pathway.

Your A-level subject combination must enable the study of 3 subjects in year 1. See table below for details of which A-level is required to study which subject on the course.

SubjectRequired A-level
BiologyBiology
BiochemistryChemistry or Biology
ChemistryChemistry
Environmental ScienceAny two science subjects
Food Science and NutritionAny two science subjects
MathematicsMathematics
PhysicsPhysics and Mathematics

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

GCSE: English Language grade C (4) and Mathematics grade B (6) or above, or an appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Other course specific tests:

Extended Project Qualification and International Project Qualification: Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Contact the Admissions Tutor to discuss if the course content provides required foundation for desired pathway. Pathways involving mathematics will require mathematics A-Level Grade A

BTEC

Contact the Admissions Tutor to discuss if the course content provides required foundation for desired pathway. Pathways involving Mathematics will require Mathematics A-Level Grade A

Cambridge Pre-U

D2 D2 M2 in 3 principal subjects, which must enable the study of 3 subjects in year 1

International Baccalaureate

36 points overall including Higher Level 6 in the subjects which enable the study of 3 subjects in year 1

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1 H1 H2 H2 H2 H2 - The subject combination must enable the study of 3 subjects in year 1

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though Chemistry must be presented at Advanced Higher level.Typically AA at Advanced Higher Level and AAABB at Higher Level

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: AAB including sciences relating to pathway and pass Access to Leeds.

For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any one component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £30,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

The University will provide you with personal protective equipment, including safety glasses and a lab coat, and laboratory notebooks you’ll need to undertake laboratory work. You’ll also have access to a vast supply of books, academic journals and periodicals from the university libraries however you may wish to purchase some books that are recommended on the course.

This course requires work using a range of relevant software which is provided by the university. We also use a blended learning model where you’ll need to access course materials and video conferences using a computer or mobile device (e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone).

You’ll have access to the extensive IT facilities on campus including 24/7 computer clusters with everything you need to complete your work however you may wish to purchase your own computer.

Depending on your chosen sciences, optional field courses may be available and could require payment of travel and accommodation.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Chemistry
Faculty of Biological Sciences
School of Mathematics
School of Physics and Astronomy
School of Earth and Environment
School of Food Science and Nutrition

Contact us

School of Chemistry Undergraduate Admissions

Email: admissions@chem.leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

The employment opportunities available to you as a natural sciences graduate are extensive across numerous industries, with the potential to take you all over the world.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

For many graduates, the natural progression is into postgraduate study, to further develop their research skills and subject knowledge. However, there are also many opportunities to take up employment immediately if you choose the three-year bachelor’s course.

Qualifying with a degree in natural sciences from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career in a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Energy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Finance
  • Environment
  • Food and drink
  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Scientific research and development
  • Legal

The breadth of subject knowledge and experience, along with the teamwork, problem solving, research, communication and IT skills you’ll develop on the course are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.

Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our natural sciences graduates have obtained:

  • DC Analyst, Barnett Waddingham
  • Actuarial Trainee, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Data Scientist, Expedia Group
  • Data Product Consultant, Kubrick Group
  • Information Officer in the Data Liaison Team, NHS Digital
  • R&D Scientist: Genotyping and cloning research technician, Tropic Biosciences
  • Financial Services Insurance Audit Graduate, KPMG UK
  • Analyst, J.P. Morgan
  • Actuarial Analyst, Lane Clark & Peacock

Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We’ll help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements, so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You’ll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

Visit our Careers and employability page to find out more.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more about Study abroad.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of placements our natural sciences students have recently completed:

  • Crystallography Group Industrial Placement, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Laboratory Technician, Phillips 66
  • Trainee Geologist, Leap Environmental
  • Formulation student based at Unilever R&D Leeds, Unilever
  • Energy Analyst, Arcus FM
  • Industrial Trainee in Formulation Chemistry, Syngenta
  • Chemistry Annual Placement, Tata Steel
  • Supply Chain and Procurement Assistant, The Meatless Farm Co.
  • Audit, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Alumni profile: Asha Patel

The variety of modules I studied and multidisciplinary topics I was exposed to gave me a unique perspective when it comes to problem solving.
Find out more about Asha Patel's time at Leeds