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Specialisation courses

Enrol now – choose later

Our academic subject leaders have designed these Natural Sciences courses in a way that provides a greater breadth towards the start of your degree and greater depth towards its end. Three specialisation programmes have been designed to enable you to focus on the area which you are most passionate about in your final year.

You will study three or four subjects in the first year, then choose any two of those subjects to continue in the second year, and then specialise in a single subject in the third year (and fourth year if you follow the MSci programme).

The available entry pathways are:


  • Archaeology/Biology/Environment (MSci or BSc): Bridging science and humanities, past and present.
  • Archaeology/Biology/Chemistry/Environment (MSci or BSc): Using core scientific knowledge to study human and environmental sciences
  • Biology/Chemistry/Physics (MSci or BSc): Study three traditional sciences at greater depth.
  • Chemistry/Mathematics/Physics (MSci or BSc): Study the many synergies between these three core sciences. 

Placement/Industry Year and Year Abroad

Applicants who apply to study Natural Sciences have the opportunity to study either a Placement Year, a Year in Industry* 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 & 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.

*Any students who specialise in Chemistry in their fourth year of an MSci are eligible to apply for a Year in Industry or Year Abroad.  both of these options will be a replacement year for your fourth year and will be managed through the Chemistry Department. For more information on the Chemistry Year in Industry please take a look at the 'Year 4 Working in Industry' webpage on the University website. For the Chemistry Year Abroad, please take a look at the 'Year 4 studying at an overseas university' webpage. 

2020/21 Natural Sciences Booklet

 "Natural Sciences on the Chemistry Maths and Physics pathway has provided coverage of the three subjects, exceeding my expectations. The course is really well set-out with all three disciplines intertwining across their different fields, each supporting the content of the others. The lecturers all provide their time to go through queries immediately after the lecture, giving their full support to the course. The NatSci team are always on hand to help, with our own room providing a great base for group discussions and readily supplied coffee".

Connor, Natural Sciences specialising in Chemistry/Maths/Physics