Degree Structure

As a Natural Sciences student at Lancaster you will take three subjects in your first year.

Two of these must come from the following Study Pathways:

Biological Sciences Chemistry
Computing and Communications Electrical Engineering
Environmental Science Geography
Mathematics Mechanical Engineering
Physics Psychology

These Part I courses are broad-based, covering all aspects of the subject.

During your first year you will complete 15 modules, 5 in each of your chosen subjects though other proportions are possible. Each module covers a particular aspect of a subject and is typically 12-15 lectures in length and incorporates a large amount of laboratory based practical work.

Successful completion of the first year allows you to progress to second year. First year marks do not contribute towards your final degree classification.

It is from second year and third year (Part II) that your degree classification will be based. It is at this stage that you start to specialise within a discipline by choosing what we call a pathway. For example, you might opt for Biochemistry and Genetics within Biology, Environmental Chemistry within Environmental Science and Political Analysis within Politics.

Because these degree schemes are so flexible they are also complex. Your choice of first year subjects will influence which themes will be available in the second and third years.


Concentrating on two subjects

You can make your degree more specialised by concentrating on only two subjects. If it is important to you to get professional accreditation with your degree (BPS, IoP, RSC etc.) then this is achievable with a Natural Sciences degree as long as you take 5/8ths of your degree in that subject. You can undertake a teaching PGCE qualification in any subject that you have taken 50% or more of your degree in.


Moving to a single honours degree

In certain circumstances you can transfer out of the Natural Sciences programme into the second year of a single honours degree. This will be dependent on you having taken all of the necessary first year pre-requisite courses.


Four-year MSci degree

Our MSci is a good choice if you are aiming at PhD studies or hope to go into research in industry. Your first three years will be identical to the BSc degree. Your fourth year will be more specialised and can consist of studies in two subjects or complete specialisation in a single subject.

All of the courses taken in the final year will come from the fourth year of other four-year undergraduate programmes or from postgraduate masters programmes.

Whilst there is the opportunity to undertake short projects in your second and third years, up to half of the fourth year will comprise of an open-ended research project.


Transferring between programmes

As your career plans start to take shape you may want to transfer your registration between our different degree programmes.

Progression into the fourth year of the MSci course is dependent upon achieving at least upper second class honours marks at the end of the three year BSc programme.