Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) with Foundation Year BSc, 4-5 years

Start date:

2020
2021

Course information

Typical offer BCC

UK/EU fee £9,250

UCAS code F994

Institute code L34

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

Course enquiries
Dr Sarah Gretton
+44 (0)116 252 2534
sng8@le.ac.uk

Natural Sciences website

If you would love to study Natural Sciences here at Leicester, but your A-level subjects don’t match our entry criteria, or you don’t quite have the entry requirements to get in, this degree is your bridge to making it happen.

Course description

Course description

Our integrated Science, Technology and Engineering (STEM) Foundation Year degrees are aimed at students who wish to study a STEM subject, such as physics, but don't have the traditional entry requirements.

The course is run on the University of Leicester campus like any other, and you will be studying alongside other students who applied for, and slightly missed out on, a place on a course similar to yours. In the first year of this course you will all be working towards passing a foundation year (year 0), which will enable automatic progression onto year 1 of any of our BSc (or MSci) Natural Sciences courses.

  • By completing the Foundation Year you will automatically progress onto the first year of your chosen degree. 
  • The course strongly emphasises the development of essential professional and personal skills, which are necessary throughout your studies and beyond. 
  • During your Foundation Year you will join our student community and be able to enjoy all aspects of the University of Leicester student experience. You will be able to join the Students’ Union, use our academic and leisure facilities, live in our accommodation and access all our support services. 
  • You will have a personal tutor to support you. 

Download a prospectus (PDF, 11MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: BCC or points equivalent from your best three A-levels. Must include two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Geography, Geology, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and Statistics.
  • GCSE: Grades B/5 in Maths (if no A-level Maths) and C/4 in English.
  • BTEC Diploma: DDM in a science related subject, which must include appropriate maths and science content. You may be required to take an additional maths assessment test.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass diploma with 26 points minimum, and must include appropriate maths and science content.
  • Access to HE: Pass diploma with 24 Distinctions in a science related subject, which must include appropriate maths and science content. You may be required to take an additional maths assessment test.

We welcome applicants with other qualifications. Please contact seadmissions@le.ac.uk to find out more.

NB. This course is only open to applicants from the UK and other EU countries.

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.

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 2021

The University of Leicester has made the decision to keep fees for EU students at the same level as UK student fees for this year, despite this no longer being a UK Government requirement.

  • £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

This course is only open to applicants from the UK and other EU countries.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

"I can't credit Natural Sciences enough for where I am now in my career; not only did it give me the knowledge to progress to study an MSc, it provided me with invaluable skills in problem solving, working with people and time management skills I use every single day in my professional life"
Siobhan, Forensic Scientist for the Metropolitan Police - graduated in 2015

Over the last decade graduates from our Natural Sciences courses have gone on to work in a wide range of sectors and industries including

  • Forensic science
  • Medicine
  • Academic research
  • Data analytics/management
  • Consultancy
  • Teaching
  • Scientific support (sales, recruitment, conference planning, technical support)
  • The Civil Service
  • Science communication (museum, broadcasting and publishing sectors)
  • Engineering
  • IT project management
  • Sustainability
  • The NHS (testing, clinical trials)

Career Development Service

Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Career Development Service. We're here to give you a lifetime offer of support, even after graduation. Our team of specialist careers advisers and mentors will help you every step of the way. From supporting you with CVs and interviews, to volunteering opportunities and placements, we're here to help you reach your professional goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

We are committed to providing skills and knowledge to help prepare you tackle global challenges. We have mapped our undergraduate degrees for learning which aligns to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Natural Sciences (Life and Physical Sciences) degrees include learning which relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Course structure

Foundation Year

Foundation Year

Modules

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 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 MSci.

At the end of Year 1, you will choose one of four pathways. These have some shared modules and some specialist modules. The pathways available are:

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

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.

Chemical Sciences Pathway

Chemical Sciences Pathway

The Chemical Sciences pathway is the central hub that keeps you at the interface of physical and biological sciences and connected to all the options available to you as a Natural Scientist. It will appeal if you like not only grounding chemistry in physical chemistry, but also explaining biology with biological chemistry. Your learning will span the structures and transformations that bridge from atoms into cells. You will have the opportunity to study and undertake research projects in chemistry for health and medicine; chemistry for energy and the environment; and chemistry for technology and materials. By the end of your degree, you will have acquired a molecular view of the natural world.

Year 1

The first year is common to all four Natural Sciences pathways – see ‘Year 1’ tab for details.

Year 2

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Between Years 2 and 3 you can spend a Year in Industry or a Year Abroad (see separate tab).

Year 3

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Plus your Research Project 3

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.

Physical Sciences Pathway

Physical Sciences Pathway

The Physical Sciences pathway is the most mathematical of all of the options. This pathway is ideal if you like not only extracting trends from data, but also constructing predictive models that explain the behaviour of the world around you. You will study the fundamental laws that underpin everything that surrounds us, from the sub-atomic scale up to interstellar scales. You will have the opportunity to study and undertake research projects in Earth Observation, Space Systems, Astrophysics and Mathematical/Computational modelling.

Year 1

The first year is common to all four Natural Sciences pathways – see ‘Year 1’ tab for details.

Year 2

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Between Years 2 and 3 you can spend a Year in Industry or a Year Abroad (see separate tab).

Year 3

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Plus your Research Project 3

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.

Molecular and Cellular Science Pathway

Molecular and Cellular Science Pathway

The Molecular and Cellular Science pathway provides you with a broad understanding of genetics, biochemistry, physiology, and knowledge of the mechanisms behind human disease. You will study how the systems of life are organised and controlled at the molecular and cellular level, as well as the physiology of the human body. Genomics will be approached through both molecular genetics and bioinformatics analysis. You will also have focused studies in evolution, origins of disease and the molecular basis of cancer. This breadth and depth of knowledge will give you access to a wide range of research projects in Biological Sciences.

Year 1

The first year is common to all four Natural Sciences pathways – see ‘Year 1’ tab for details.

Year 2

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Between Years 2 and 3 you can spend a Year in Industry or a Year Abroad (see separate tab).

Year 3

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Plus your Research Project 3

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.

Ecological and Zoological Science Pathway

Ecological and Zoological Science Pathway

The Ecological and Zoological Science pathway is the option for you if you want to understand how organisms interact with each other and the natural environment. You will study how the world is structured - from the genetic level to the ecosystem level; and how animals function - from the neurological level to the population level. A key component of this pathway are field skills, which are developed through a range of local and international field trips (currently Leicestershire, Devon and Brazil). By the end of this pathway, you will have the ability to design and conduct field studies, as well as the statistical skills to analyse experimental data. In your final year, you will carry out an independent research project, which can be conducted locally with our environmental management team or internationally with a partner organisation.

Year 1

The first year is common to all four Natural Sciences pathways – see ‘Year 1’ tab for details.

Year 2

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Between Years 2 and 3 you can spend a Year in Industry or a Year Abroad (see separate tab).

Year 3

Core Natural Sciences modules

Specialised modules

Plus your Research Project 3

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 course is truly integrated and research- led. All our core modules are interdisciplinary in content and are taught through a research-based learning approach, allowing you to explore new areas and apply what you've learned in practical and relevant ways. A range of specialism pathways in subsequent years allow you to tailor your degree to your interests.

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 2017 we were the only Natural Sciences course (and one of only six degrees in the UK) to be awarded the UK Higher Education Academy’s Collaborate Award for Teaching Excellence. Our approach supports you in gaining entry to postgraduate study or establishing a successful career once you have finished your degree.

Reading list

See the types of texts you might read, over the summer, to get a feel for the course and arrive prepared and ready to go.

View a reading list for Natural Sciences degrees

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 Schools of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Biological Sciences.

Independent learning

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.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • 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.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Natural Sciences with Foundation Year Qualification BSc Duration 4 years, full-time UCAS Code F994 Availability Apply Now