An experiment in the IsoLab in Physics

How Pathways Work

A Natural Sciences degree will allow you to maintain an interest in two or three scientific disciplines where you will learn and integrate knowledge from a range of subjects.

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How does it work?

Our students explain how the Natural Sciences degree scheme works. Natural Sciences allows you to pick and choose modules from up to three areas of science, known as Pathways.


It is not possible to study the entire content of two or three single-honours degree courses simultaneously. To help with your course selection each science department has created one or more coherent collections of 'Modules' called 'Pathways'.

You choose which pathway subjects you would like to do – either two or three. By following a pathway through a particular subject you are guaranteed to have the necessary pre-requisites for each subsequent year. You can follow any pathway. Please note that some pathways have special conditions. If you are unsure about any conditions, please contact the Applicant Enquiries Coordinator.

Double Weighted Pathways

Please note, due to the complexity of subject content, some of our Pathways are double weighted. This means you can only take one other Pathway with these Pathway choices. Double weighted Pathways are shown by an asterisk in the table below.


At the point of application, you do not have to specify which three pathways you intend to pursue in your Natural Sciences degree programme. After results day in August, you will be sent a letter by the Department requesting your three pathway choices. Your pathway choices can be further discussed at the start of October during Intro Week.

Subject AreaPathways
Biology Biology Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Genetics Ecology and Conservation Microbiology and Biomedicine
Chemistry Chemical Measurement and Analysis Chemical Synthesis and Structure *Environmental Chemistry
Computing and Communications Computing and Communications
Engineering *Chemical Engineering *Electronic Engineering *Mechanical Engineering
Environmental and Earth Science Earth Science Environmental Science
Geography Human Geography Physical Geography
Mathematics Single Mathematics *Double Mathematics
Medical School Human Physiology and Exercise Science
Physics *Physics
Psychology Psychology *Psychology with British Psychological Society Accreditation


Each Pathway contains a set of Modules. These are subjects within your broader Pathway area. Some of these Modules are Mandatory (you have to do these), and some are Optional (you can choose).

Mandatory Modules are an essential part of your course and study. These represent the key areas required as part of your Natural Sciences degree. Optional Modules provide you with extra skills and knowledge.

You will notice that in most cases, Modules in the first year are fixed and more options open up in subsequent years. This is intentional as our Pathways have been expertly selected so that your first year covers as much ground as possible to keep your later options open.

Many Year 2 and Year 3 Optional Modules have pre-requisites from the previous year’s Modules. Once you have decided on your Pathways and Modules these will be discussed in detail at a one-to-one meeting at the start of your course where timetable flexibility and course capacity will also be taken into consideration.