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Interdisciplinary courses: challenging degrees for challenging times

The most exciting research is increasingly taking place at the interfaces between the traditional disciplines, not least since the big global challenges that we face are complex problems that demand mutlifaceted solutions. To embed this trend of being comfortable doing science in different ways is core to the philosophy of the Natural Sciences programmes at York.

Contributing Departments

Our 'interdisciplinary' courses have been designed to focus on areas of particular research and/or teaching strength at York. They each involve studying in multiple departments throughout the programme of study.

The available entry pathways are:

  • Biophysical Science (MSci or BSc): analysing biological systems with tools from modern physics
  • Mathematical Bioscience (MSci or BSc): applying mathematics to predict the dynamics of the natural world
  • Nanoscience (MSci or BSc): studying the very small
  • Neuroscience (MSci or BSc): exploring the brain 

Placement Year and Year Abroad

Applicants who apply to study Natural Sciences have the opportunity to study either a Placement Year or a Year Abroad.

Whether you intend to continue on to further study or you intend to find employment at the end of your programme, a year spent in industry or abroad can be rewarding, enabling you to develop many skills and gain valuable experience.  Skills such as project managment, teamwork, communication and time management gained on an industrial placement will stand you in good stead for the future, increasing your employability upon completing your programme.  Those of you spending time on a year abroad will gain communication and time management skills, as well as problem solving and increasing your confidence and cultural awareness in the world around you - many employers look for these traits in potential employees.

All of these experiences and skills are an excellent addition to a CV or PhD application.  For more information, take a look at our Placement Year/Year Abroad (PDF , 408kb)

Our Placement Year is managed by Careers and Placements here at York.  For more information go to the University's 'Placement Year' webpage.  

To study a Year Abroad you will apply through our Centre for Global Programmes.  For more information, please take a look at the University's 'Study, Work or Volunteer Abroad' webpages. 

  2020/21 Natural Sciences Booklet

"The whole Natural Sciences feel is unbelievably communal, relaxed and happy. The support and interest of the staff (across the University of York) in Natural Sciences makes you feel part of something exciting and progressive. In Nanoscience we are really looking to the future – we’re getting a broad education which teaches us flexible and interdisciplinary working".

Megan, Natural Sciences specialising in Nanoscience