The Natural Sciences modules use problem-based learning approach where, in small groups, you are set a real-world, open-ended research question. The teaching is designed to support you to respond to that research brief. This style of delivery lends itself to interactive sessions, including expert lectures, workshops working through the research problem and tutorials where you receive feedback from peers and academic staff.
These modules are assessed through authentic scientific assignments (or deliverables), which include laboratory portfolios, authoring and reviewing research papers, presentations and production of scientific posters, as well as more innovative assignments, such as museum podcasts, example textbook chapters or presentations to expert scientific panels. These varied assessments support you to develop a broad set of graduate skills, such as team work, resilience and independent learning. This ensures you are attractive to recruiters and your skills are transferable to future careers in science or further afield.
In our most recent reported National Student Survey we scored 100% satisfaction in six questions, including: staff are good at explaining things, course has provided opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics and the course has provided with opportunities to apply what I learnt.
In addition to attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.
Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.
Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:
- study and exam skills
- academic writing
- numerical data skills
- referencing sources
Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.
Praised for their exceptional teaching, the Natural Sciences core teaching team received the UK’s Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017, and the HEA/BBC STEM Interdisciplinary Award in 2013. Furthermore, the University awarded the Programme Director of Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) its ‘top teaching award’ in 2017. Other academic members of the course teaching team have been recognised by achieving the University Distinguished Teaching Fellowship (2018, 2019).
In addition to the core teaching team you will also receive teaching from leading researchers from the Schools of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Biological Sciences. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. You can learn more about our core staff by visiting our staff profiles.