Accessibility statement

Your questions answered

Our frequently asked questions are grouped under the following headings:

  • Our programmes
  • The application process
  • International applications
  • Accommodation and colleges
  • Support during your studies

What will it say on my final degree certificate?

This question is best answered by a couple of examples:

If you enrol on our Archaeology/Biology/Chemistry/Environment programme and specialise in Archaeology, graduating after three years, your degree certificate will read "Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences specialising in Archaeology".

If you study Nanoscience for four years, then your degree certificate will read "Master of Science in Natural Sciences specialising in Nanoscience".

Our programmes

Do you offer a Year in Industry or a Year Abroad?

We now offer Year Abroad through our Centre for Global Programmes, here at the University of York.  This is available to all students. 

A Placement Year is now available to all students studying Natural Sciences and would normally replace your third year of study.  The exception to this is the Chemistry Year in Industry which would be done in the fourth year, this is an assessed year unlike the Placement Year which is a pass/fail year.

Should I apply for an MSci or a BSc degree course?

In making the choice between BSc (3-Year) and MSci (4-Year), you need to consider how useful the additional MSci year will be in preparing you for your likely career, and whether it provides experiences and challenges that will be interesting and worthwhile.

Our course is designed to be flexible, so that you can transfer between MSci and BSc courses at any time during the first two years.

Can I transfer onto a different Natural Sciences programme?

You can change your mind as to which Natural Sciences pathway you wish to study until the July before the start of your first term [as long as you meet the entry requirements for that programme].

Once the programme starts, it’s much more complicated to move between pathways as there are lots of things to take into consideration.

We look at each case on an individual basis but unfortunately, cannot guarantee that a request for change would be successful.

The application process

What is the UCAS code for Natural Sciences at York?

There are two UCAS codes for Natural Sciences at York:

  • BSc (three years):  CFG0
  • MSci (four years):  FGC0

We ask you to choose one of our eight entry pathways at the point of application. There are some instructions on our 'How to specify an entry pathway' page

If you choose the generic Natural Sciences option on UCAS, then one of our admissions team will contact you to ask you to choose a specific entry pathway. However, contingent on studying the correct subjects at school or college, you may change your preferred entry pathway up to the end of the July before you arrive at York.

How do I apply?

All applications for Home, EU, and International students must be received through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), so you must adhere to their deadlines.

Please also see the Natural Sciences ‘Applying’ and ‘How to specify an entry pathway’ pages.

If you are an overseas student, please allow sufficient time for your visa application to be processed, if a visa is required.

Does it matter when I apply?

We treat all applications received before the 15th January deadline equally.

Our offer criteria are decided in advance of the application cycle, and we monitor offers throughout to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and equally.

Students are not disadvantaged by applying to us closer to the 15th of January deadline.

After submitting my UCAS application, when will I hear from you?

Normally, we will contact you within 2 to 3 days of receiving your UCAS application.

For a UK applicant, after attending an interview in the department, we will write to you and send our decision to UCAS within a few days of the interview.

You will be able to view the offer on UCAS Track.

What are the entry criteria for the courses

Our typical offer is A*AA at A-level for all our courses. We do not accept General Studies.

We will also consider a variety of equivalent qualifications, such as BTEC, IB, Cambridge Pre-U, and other national-level qualifications on a case by case basis.

Please email our Admissions Tutor, Dr Chris Murphy ( if you would like further information.

If you are a mature student or have any questions about non-standard or overseas qualifications, please do get in touch with Dr Chris Murphy.

Do I need A level Maths

All of our Natural Sciences programmes require you to have Mathematics at A level, with the exception of our Archaeology/Biology/Environment pathway.  This pathway requires either Mathematics or Chemistry. See more about applying to the School of Natural Sciences.

I already have my A levels – how will this affect my offer of a place?

Students who apply with A level grades (or other qualifications) that match or exceed our typical offer are likely to be made an unconditional offer (after attending an interview)

I am a mature student – will you consider my application

Yes, we welcome applications from mature students. You may wish to email our Admissions Tutor, Dr Chris Murphy ( to discuss the suitability of your qualifications, before making a formal application through UCAS.

We are happy to consider applications from mature students offering Access to Higher Education courses.

Does it matter what school I have attended?

No, not at all. All applications receive equal treatment, irrespective of educational background.

We welcome students from all sorts of backgrounds and with a wide range of experience, and consider every application on its own merits.

Can I apply for deferred entry?

Yes, we do accept deferred entry.  Many students defer entry for a year so that they can gain experience travelling or to earn some money before applying to University.  

We would encourage students to talk about their gap year plans both in their UCAS personal statements and at interview.

When you apply through UCAS you should indicate that you wish to defer your entry for a year.  

If you make the grades that we ask for, you can go off travelling or working in the knowledge that your place is safe and being held for you, for the following year.  

It is important to note that you can normally only defer for one year.

Will I have to attend an interview?

Yes, for applicants who are based in the UK, we make it a policy always to interview applicants before we make them an offer of a place.

Our interview day is not only aimed at finding out more about you, it is very much an opportunity for you to see the School of Natural Sciences, the facilities we have to offer, meet members of staff and see the campus.

Our interview days take place between October and March.

What happens during the interview

Take a look at our interview day page for more information

What if something goes wrong?

We hope you have a smooth and trouble-free time whilst preparing for and taking your exams, but this is not always the case.

There are a number of things that can go wrong, such as long-term illness of one of your teachers, or some medical condition that affects you or a close family member, or some other personal situation.

This is generally known as "mitigating circumstances" as it can affect your exam performance and result in you getting a lower grade than would otherwise be the case.

If this happens, then you should let us know, please email our Admissions Tutor, Dr Chris Murphy (

This information will then be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to accept you onto the degree at results time.

Do you accept resits?

We are happy to consider applicants who have results obtained by resitting modules during the AS and A level years.

Applicants who are resitting modules during a third year of study are also welcome to apply. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but normally our offer would be to achieve grades for any resits that bring your overall performance up to at least our typical offer.

My results are not as good as the offer you made me?

Please don’t panic! If you have only missed by a grade or so, we may still be able to confirm your place through UCAS on results day.

However, in some cases it is possible that we may not be able to give you a final decision for a few days. 

You should not worry about losing your insurance place elsewhere – if we are not able to take you, your insurance University must take you if you have met the conditions of their offer.

We advise you to phone our Admissions Tutor, Dr Chris Murphy, on results day (01904 325852) or email to discuss your situation.

This can provide us with valuable extra information, and also allows us to keep you in the picture as much as possible during what we realise can be a very stressful and difficult period.

Can I visit the University and the School of Natural Sciences?

Of course. If you are thinking of applying to York, we encourage you to visit the University on one of the Open Days.

You will be able to ask questions about our programme, speak to current students and visit the School of Natural Sciences.

There will also be tours of the campus, opportunities to view a range of accommodation and get a general feel of the University and the City of York.

International applications

Do you accept applications from international students with other qualifications?

Yes, applications from international students are very welcome.

We consider all applications on their own merits and are looking for evidence of advanced study and appropriate qualifications.

We recommend that you email our Admissions Tutor, Dr Chris Murphy ( for specific advice.

English is not my first language. What English qualifications do you accept?

Prospective students must show evidence of a good command of the English language. Where previous education has not been carried out in English, a score of 6.5 in the IELTS test, with at least 6.0 in each skill, is normally required.

Alternative qualifications are accepted. View more details of the University's English Language requirements.

What are the current fee rates for international students?

Tuition fees for international students, in the academic year 2020/21 are £22,650. Tuition fees are due at the beginning of each year of study, but you may be able to pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for home students (UK or EU students) in the academic year 2020/21 are £9,250 per year, increasing each year in line with inflation. You will not have to pay your tuition fees when you are at university. You can take out a fee loan each year through Student Finance Direct, and begin to repay the total cost of the fees after you graduate. The DirectGov site contains lots of detailed and useful information on student loans.

Are there any scholarships for overseas students?

Yes, if you are liable to pay overseas fees, you may be eligible for one of up to three Excellence Award Scholarships that we award to overseas students each year.

Each scholarship is worth £1000.  You do not have to apply, you will be contacted by our Natural Sciences Admissions Tutor after you have received your offer .

Is there any English language support for international students?

Yes, the International Pathway College (IPC) offers a range of pre-sessional courses that you can apply for. These language courses take place in the summer before the start of taught programmes for students who need to improve their English slightly before admission. 

There are also excellent academic English courses taking place during the academic year through the Writing and Language Skills Centre.

I am an international student - am I eligible for University accommodation?

If you pay overseas tuition fees, you are guaranteed a room booking for each year of your course if you apply by our deadline dates for the full letting period. 

You will need to apply in the same way as home students, for information and accommodation FAQ’s. Find out more about accomodation for international students.


View the online Undergraduate University prospectus or request a paper copy: