Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) MSci, 4-5 years

Start date:

2020

This four-year degree expands on the Natural Sciences BSc to prepare you for high-level entry into relevant professions. It’s also a solid base for pursuing PhD research.

Typical offer
A*AA-AAB
UCAS code
GFC0

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
mbspadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3323 or 2907 
nsadmin@le.ac.uk

Natural Sciences website

Course description

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, third and fourth 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 fourth year (not included in the BSc) provides training that will come in useful if you are thinking of going on to a career in research or academia - including your Research Project, a major piece of individual research on a cutting-edge science topic. You will also study advanced modules in your chosen specialist field and will develop expertise in agent-based modelling in the Modelling Of Complex Systems module.

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 bioinformatics and drug-design, giving you an insight into the important research areas requiring scientists today.

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

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A/AS-levels: A*AA-AAB including two science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Maths, Further Maths and Physics. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General studies accepted. NB. If you do not have Maths at A-level you must have either Core Maths or Maths AS-level at grade B.
  • EPQ with A-levels: typical offer AAB + EPQ at grade B. EPQ must be in a science related subject
  • Access to HE (Science): 45 credits at level 3, a substantial number of which must be at Distinction in science subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass diploma with 34 points including grade 6 and 5 in at least two HL relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Maths and Physics. Plus grade 7 in Maths SL if not taken as a Higher level subject.
  • BTEC: Please contact mbspadmissions@le.ac.uk with details of your subject area and module content plus your GCSE results.

Other national and international qualifications considered.

We also have a Natural Sciences With Foundation Year (BSc) if  your A-level subjects don’t match our entry criteria, or you don’t quite have the entry requirements to apply.

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.

All applicants are invited to an interview here in Leicester, where you can meet the teaching team and tour the facilities.

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

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2020

Tuition fees for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed.
As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2019/20 were:

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in 2020

  • £21,515 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5,378.75, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Our MSci 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, with the final year specifically focused on developing higher level research skills. 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.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1

The interdisciplinary nature of the course begins in year 1, where you will cover a range of topics, as well as the role of science in ensuring a sustainable society. You will be introduced to key laboratory, computing and research-based problem solving skills.

Modules

This is the same as Year 1 of the BSc.

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

In addition to continuing your studies into fundamental scientific concepts and key scientific skills in the Natural Sciences core modules, the second year provides you with the opportunity to concentrate on one of the following specialisms:

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

Core modules

Option modules

Choose one pair of specialised modules:

Chemical Science

Molecular and Cellular Science

Organismal Science

Physical Science

This is the same as Year 2 of the BSc.

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 in Industry or Abroad (optional)

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

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

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement 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.

Year Abroad

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 Study Abroad Unit.

The School of Biological Sciences at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the Erasmus+ scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. Languages courses, at both beginners and advanced level, are available through the University’s Languages at Leicester scheme. 

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

We have links with the following universities:

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.

Year in Industry

An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of laboratory work - and will normally be a paid position, more than offsetting the additional cost of the extra year.

Industrial placements are limited and are awarded through a competitive selection process, based on your performance in your first year. Previous students on similar courses have worked for pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Oxford Biomedica and GlaxoSmithKline, and in research institutions such as the Animal Health Institute and Kew Gardens.

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 3/4

Year 3/4

In addition to core and specialised modules which continue to develop depth across the scientific disciplines, this year includes an individual research project and the opportunity to critique, author and review papers.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose one pair of specialised modules:

Chemical Science

Molecular and Cellular Science

Organismal Science

Physical Science

Plus your Research Project 3

This is the same as the final year of the BSc.

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

This MSci-specific year is designed for students who want to extend their knowledge through specialist research. It is an ideal option for students who wish to progress to a career in industrial research or academia.

Core module

Option modules

Choose one pair of specialised modules:

Chemical Science

Molecular and Cellular Science

Organismal Science

Physical Science

Plus your Research Project 4

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.

Why Leicester?

Our core modules have been developed specifically for Natural Sciences students, allowing you to explore new areas and apply what you've learnt in practical and relevant ways.

We produce an in-house journal, the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science, full of short, fun – but completely accurate! – papers. Entirely written and peer-reviewed by our Natural Sciences students, it’s a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of how academic publishing works.

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

You will definitely want to join the Students' Union's Natural Sciences Society, which offers a great mix of academic support and social events.

Natural Sciences at Leicester

Some of our recent students explain why Natural Sciences appealed to them

Teaching and learning

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 School of Chemistry, the School of Physics and Astronomy, and the School of Biological Sciences.

Your development as a researcher culminates in your fourth year project, an extended 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.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) Qualification MSci Duration 4 years UCAS Code GFC0 Availability Apply Now
Course Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) with a Year Abroad Qualification MSci Duration 5 years UCAS Code GFC0 Availability Apply Now
Course Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) with a Year in Industry Qualification MSci Duration 5 years UCAS Code GFC0 Availability Apply Now