Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences)

BSc, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want a degree which covers the breadth of sciences exploring current interdisciplinary scientific areas, preparing you for a wide range of careers in industry, academia or science communication.

Course Description

Whether you take a three-year BSc or a four-year MSci, your degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Leicester will provide you with a truly integrated, research-led programme of study. The course is designed around a core set of interdisciplinary modules delivered using a research-based learning approach. This will enable you to tackle cutting-edge scientific issues and to acquire a sound knowledge across the scientific disciplines.

You will study fundamental and advanced scientific concepts from the life sciences and the physical sciences in cross-disciplinary contexts where the connections between them are emphasised and explored. In your second and third years you will have the opportunity to concentrate one of the following specialisms: 

  • Chemical Science
  • Molecular and Cellular Science
  • Physical Science
  • Ecological and Zoological Science

This course thrives on the University’s strong culture of interdisciplinary research: from green chemistry to synthetic biology; from sustainable development to astrobiology. This research focus feeds into the degree itself and you will have the chance to become an active researcher from the very start of your degree. The course provides numerous opportunities to practice confronting scientific problems in novel situations in preparation for a career in academia, industry or other science-related fields.

The research-focused structure of your degree will provide the ideal preparation for a graduate career in (and beyond) science. Our core modules include cutting-edge interdisciplinary fields such as astrobiology and drug-design, giving you an insight into the important research areas requiring scientists today.

The BSc in Natural Sciences is also designed to support development of the skills that graduate employers seek. Alongside exams, there is strong emphasis on authentic assessment including group assignments, laboratory portfolios, authoring and reviewing of research papers, presentations, production of scientific posters etc. as well as more modern media such as podcasts.

Key Facts
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
Biological Sciences

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2100

School of Biological Sciences website

Why Leicester?

Core modules have been developed specifically for Natural Sciences students, allowing you to achieve the depth of knowledge required to engage with cutting edge interdisciplinary research.

From year two you can specialise in one of the following areas: Chemical Science, Molecular and Cellular Science, Physical Science or Ecological and Zoological Science.

Authentic assessments develop key scientific skills sought by graduate employers

In your final year you will undertake a research project and write and review papers for the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1


  • Principles of Science
  • Bonds, Molecules and Cells
  • Laboratory, Computing and Scientific Skills 1
  • Mathematics for Science 1
  • Science, Society and Sustainability
  • Networks and Circuits
  • Biophysics, Physiology and Metabolism

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Core modules

  • Astrophysics, Astrochemistry and Astrobiology
  • Laboratory, Mathematical and Scientific Skills 2
  • Evolution

Option modules

Choose one pair of specialised modules:  

Chemical Science

  • Introductory Analytical and Physical Chemistry
  • Introductory Organic and Inorganic Chemistry

Molecular and Cellular Science

  • The Molecules of Life – An Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Organismal Science

  • The Molecules of Life – An Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Genetics, Biodiversity and Behaviour

Physical Science

  • Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism
  • Light, Matter, Waves and Quanta

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions. Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

The School of Biological Sciences at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training. 

For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite.  

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

Core Modules

  • Molecular Analysis and Design
  • Interdisciplinary Research Journal

Option modules

Choose one pair of specialised modules:   

Chemical Science

  • Spectroscopy and Physical Chemistry
  • Organic and Inorganic Chemistry

Molecular and Cellular Science

  • Molecular Cell Biology and Genomes
  • Bioinformatics and Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids

Organismal Science

  • Genomes and Development
  • Neurobiology, Animal Behaviour and Evolution in the Field

Physical Science

  • Electromagnetic Fields and Relativity, Quantum Physics and Particles
  • Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics

Plus your Research Project

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Teaching and Assessment

The Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) degrees delivered at University of Leicester offer a pioneering approach to Natural Sciences – truly integrated, research-led courses. The  modules are multidisciplinary in content and are taught through a research-based learning approach.

In addition to lectures, class teaching takes many forms: seminars, workshops, laboratory practicals and small group tutorials, all designed to support your individual development as a scientist. Your lecturers will be leading researchers from the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the School of Biological Sciences.

Your development as a researcher culminates in your third year project, a substantial piece of individual research under the guidance of an academic researcher. In the Interdisciplinary Research Journal module, you will participate in a weekly discussion of the current research literature and contribute short papers to our own Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics.

Research Stories

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: AAA including two science subjects. Two AS-levels may considered in place of one A-level. General studies accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: typical offer AAB + EPQ at grade B
  • Core Maths: Grade A (if Maths not held at A/AS-level)
  • Access to HE (Science): pass full diploma with a substantial number of credits at distinction in science subjects at Level 3
  • European Baccalaureate: pass with 85% overall including at least one science
  • International Baccalaureate: pass diploma with 36 points, including at least one Higher Level science at Level 5
  • Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/D3 in principal subjects

Other national and international qualifications considered.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester. 

If you take our STEM Foundation Year, Biological Sciences Foundation Year or Medicine Foundation Year you may be able to transfer to Natural Sciences.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the School of Biological Sciences. 

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

Career Opportunities

Our BSc in Natural Sciences focuses on developing key scientific skills in the following areas: computing, numeracy, core laboratory techniques, data and statistical analysis, science communication, and the ability to work successfully in a team. These skills are highly sought after by employers and, in combination with detailed interdisciplinary science knowledge, will provide you with excellent prospects in areas such as industrial research, finance, scientific communication, the Civil Service and teaching. 

Our skills modules provide specialist guidance on searching and applying for jobs, and preparing CVs and job applications. Additionally, your personal tutor can give you feedback on draft application forms and CVs.  


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) BSc 3 years FCG0 Apply Now
Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) with a Year Abroad BSc 4 years FCG0 Apply Now
Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences)
3 years
Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) with a Year Abroad
4 years