Natural Sciences is a challenging degree that allows you to study across all of the scientific disciplines. Our pathways let you customise your degree to suit your interests and career aspirations. A paid placement enables you to experience twelve months working in the type of organisation that you might aspire to join when you graduate.
If you are interested in more than one scientific subject, our degree allows you to combine up to three different subjects throughout the programme. You can keep your interests open or choose to specialise as you progress. Either way, our Natural Sciences degree is designed to challenge the brightest students who are highly motivated and prepared to apply themselves across multiple boundaries. You can choose pathways from ten subject areas that can be combined together to create a purpose built degree programme. The subject areas are:
- Biological Sciences
- Environmental and Earth Sciences
- Medical School
Each pathway within these ten subjects includes a wide selection of modules to choose from. This breadth of possibilities makes it difficult to summarise what the three year programme will look like, but the experience will be unique and tailored to your needs and goals.
In the first year, all students begin with three pathways. You must choose two science pathways, and a third that can either be another science topic or you can select from elsewhere across the University, including a range of humanities and social sciences. You will be taught by academic staff who are leaders in their field, gaining a comprehensive understanding of your chosen subjects.
You will also develop important skills and technical knowledge specific to each discipline, as well as interdisciplinary skills, such as data handling, analysis and evaluation, plus laboratory, IT and specialist software skills. In addition, you will undertake a Placement Preparation module which provides guidance on writing your CV, finding a placement and interview techniques.
At the end of the first year, you will also have the opportunity to choose whether or not to continue with three subjects or to just focus on two sciences, to suit your goals and ambitions.
In second year, your study will begin to become more focused and modules will be more specialised. You will continue to develop your skills from first year and you will have the opportunity to utilise and practice the knowledge and experience you have gained so far. In addition, many of the modules will allow you to progress your project management, research and professional skills, as well as further enhancing your technical ability. You will also take part in a ‘work-based learning’ module designed to provide guidance and support as you apply for nationally advertised placements and help you gain the most from your placement year.
To prepare students for their work placement year, our Careers and Placements Team will provide advice and guidance on: the skills required to create effective CVs, cover letters and applications; tips and techniques on how to make an impact at interviews and assessment centres; how to create a relevant digital profile; and how to research employers and career sectors of interest. In addition, there is great emphasis placed upon developing self-awareness and on how to present yourself in a professional manner to employers. This optional provision will be delivered via a blend of traditional and digital methods including face-to-face workshops, online webinars, e-courses and 1:1 appointments.
You will spend your third year on an industrial placement, before returning to Lancaster for your fourth year where you will continue in your chosen specialties. The placement offers you the opportunity to work as a full-time employee of the organisation whilst still receiving both academic and pastoral support.
The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills.
If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and would continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year. The University offers a range of shorter placement and internship opportunities for which you would be welcome to apply.
During the final year, you will delve deeper into the topics that interested you previously and much of what you explore will be guided by what you studied in second year. This year, you will firmly cement your learning by applying your skills and experience to a major research project or dissertation. Depending on your chosen pathway, you may also have the opportunity to undertake an industry placement, further developing your professional skills and giving you valuable experience in preparation for your career.
MSci Natural Sciences
In addition to our BSc degrees, we offer a four year MSci Natural Sciences programme, which allows you to decide if you want to graduate after three years with a BSc or complete your MSci study with a fourth year. This additional year includes advanced modules and a major research project, all of which prepare you for a career in research and development.
We aim to provide you with the most effective and stimulating approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, to enabling you to demonstrate your capabilities in a range of ways. Assessment varies across disciplines and from module to module, but typical assignments include: laboratory reports, essays, literature reviews, short tests, short and sharply focused critical reports, poster sessions and oral presentations, as well as formal examination.
Fitting with the dynamic and diverse nature of our Natural Sciences programme, you will have the opportunity to engage and build meaningful relationships with students and staff from multiple scientific disciplines. You will be welcomed and integrated into departments as anyone on a single-track programme would.
You will also be part of a Natural Sciences community, which fosters a highly supportive and productive learning environment. You will benefit from an excellent student-to-staff ratio, work with and be supported by approachable and engaging staff, and be recognised as an individual person with individual needs.
Additionally, you will have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities that provide space for socialising with your peers, as well as help you excel in your studies.