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BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences specialising in Nanoscience

Dive beneath the surface of physical reality and manipulate objects on the nanoscale

Year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

CFG0

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

A*AA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fees

£21,330 per year (2019/20)

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Fathom the dynamics of the very small and learn how arranging atoms in specific ways can lead to new materials with remarkable functions.

This Natural Sciences course draws together the resources of four central scientific disciplines – chemistry, electronics, physics and mathematics – to delve deep into the hidden world of atoms and molecules. This is a world measured to the nanometer, where a human hair is about 100,000 nanometres thick.

You will develop laboratory skills in our clean room and your final year project could be conducted in and supervised by the York-JEOL Nanocentre. This purpose-built reserach centre is equipped with some of the world’s most sensitive and sophisticated microscopes and enables researchers to see what is happening at the atomic level.

All our Natural Sciences BSc degrees have the same course code for your UCAS application. To select the Natural Sciences specialising in Nanoscience pathway, enter the subject option code "Nano". We will ask you to confirm your pathway if you are invited to interview.

"The whole Natural Sciences feel is unbelievably communal, relaxed and happy. The support and interest of the staff in Natural Sciences, and across the University, 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, Nanoscience (Year 3)

Course content

By studying Natural Sciences specialising in Nanoscience you'll develop a foundation in the key disciplines that underpin nanoscience. You'll apply the skills and tools from across these disciplines to your study of the very small. You'll study modules totalling 360 credits covering core and advanced topics, such as:

  • the fundamentals of nanoscience
  • quantum and classical mechanics
  • statistical physics
  • electromagnetism
  • thermodynamics
  • wave phenomena
  • the properties of matter and condensed matter physics
  • mathematics
  • magnetic materials

You'll build skills in physical, computational and mathematical methods and apply these to the description, modelling and prediction of physical phenomena. You'll apply your knowledge to both the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject and critically assess experimental and theoretical evidence. You'll also learn how to tackle open-ended problems using a variety of nanoscience techniques.

Year 1

Year 1 provides introductory course material in Chemistry, Electronic Engineering, Mathematics and Physics to prepare you for more advanced study.

Core modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In your second year you will explore your specialised subject in greater depth.

Core modules

Year 3

In your third year you will build on the skills you’ve developed throughout your course, working on an interdisciplinary project and taking further core modules.

Core modules

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Formulate, as well as tackle, open-ended problems in nanoscience and be able to call upon a variety of interdisciplinary techniques and methodologies relating any conclusions to current theories in the discipline
  • Develop student competencies in debating, defending and contextualising information from key literature sources taken from across the physical and lifes sciences 
  • Discuss and communicate findings that emphasise the empirical nature of nanoscience and be able to apply their expertise to both the theoretical and practical aspects of the area based on rigorous critical assessment of any available evidence
  • Plan, execute and report on the results of experiments, projects and investigations across the nanoscience discipline, including the use of appropriate data analytical methods
  • Present nanoscience principles to other scientists clearly and concisely in an appropriate written or oral format, demonstrating a breadth of knowledge from across disciplines of the fundamentals of nanoscience
  • Work effectively (including taking the lead within their own project), in a cross-disciplinary environment, drawing upon concepts from chemistry, physics and electronics
  • Use experimental design measurement and/or analysis methods to evaluate a nanoscience model or theory using objective criticism to appraise the accuracy, correctness and limitations of the approach

Interdisciplinary programmes

Natural Sciences offers a range of well-structured pathways built upon the natural synergies that exist across scientific disciplines.

Natural Sciences Hour

Our weekly Natural Sciences Hour brings students together to hear from researchers and employers and to build transferable skills.

Research facilities

Study in world-leading research institutes and hi-tech learning spaces dedicated to interdisciplinary science.

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £21,330

Additional costs

Text books and course books are all available in the library or online. We do recommend books you might find useful, but it is not compulsory for you to buy them.​ ​Your first year textbooks for Chemistry and Physics will be provided to you at no additional cost and Chemistry will provide you with a lab coat.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

The interdisciplinary nature of the Natural Sciences course means that you will experience a wide variety of approaches to teaching, from formal lectures and practical experiments in the lab through to small group tutorials and close, supportive mentoring, as well as Virtual Learning Environments. This programme has a strong element of experimental and practical studies.

You'll receive lectures from leading figures in the field. These are supported by smaller group tutorials and seminars where you will be encouraged to debate and discuss the lecture material, drawing out important principles, highlighting connections between ideas and applying methods to example problems.

Natural Sciences teaching groups

You will share lectures and seminars with students from other departments, but your tutorials and some smaller seminar groups will be with other Natural Sciences students only, and these will help you understand the material in an interdisciplinary context.

Hands on experimental experience

For the natural scientist, conducting rigorous experiments and understanding the experimental method is not just a useful skill but underpins the very nature of scientific inquiry and discovery.

Experimental work may be done in groups or pairs, or sometimes individually, but always with the support of experienced mentors. Sometimes laboratory work will be interwoven with lectures and tutorials, sometimes it may be a stand-alone module. The importance of experimentation to the learning process is recognised by the fact that Projects form the pinnacle of every natural scientist’s time at York: every Natural Sciences programme includes a major project during the final year.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars384 hours456 hours408 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Natural Sciences Learning Studio on Campus West, but your teaching will be spread across our departments and locations will vary. Teaching locations for this course include: Alcuin, Derwent, James, Vanbrugh and Wentworth College; the Departments of Biology and Chemistry; the Physics and Electronic Engineering building; and the Spring Lane building.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

A variety of assessment techniques will be used for different elements of the course and at different times during your degree. These include:

  • examinations
  • course assignments and weekly problems
  • laboratory assessment
  • presentations
  • project reports

All final-year students are required to attend for a short oral examination, known as a viva, in which they will talk about their project to a panel of examiners.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams87%84%48%
Coursework10%13%49%
Practical exams3%3%3%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Students conduction nanofabrication.
Students doing group work in the Natural Sciences Learning Studio.
"The Nanoscience course at York is really unique, allowing you to study both modules that are universal to core science degrees and modules specific to Nanoscience. We are taught by lectures who are doing research in nanotechnology and we have the opportunity to learn about the most recent advances in the field."
Clare, Nanoscience (Year 2)

Careers and skills

A Natural Sciences degree is a versatile course that will provide you with the skills and experience to succeed in a wide range of careers. With the Natural Sciences specialising in Nanoscience course, you will be equipped to:

  • formulate problems in nanoscience and use special and limiting cases
  • use order of magnitude estimates in problem solving
  • plan, execute and report the results of an experiment or project, using appropriate methods to analyse data and evaluate its uncertainty
  • critically compare the results or experiments with those of model calculations
  • relate conclusions to theories of the nanoscience
  • use mathematics to describe the nanoscience world, including an understanding of mathematical modelling and of the role of approximations
  • present complex nanoscience principles in a clear and precise manner.

 

Career opportunities

  • Electronics/semiconductor industry
  • Materials science including textiles, polymers and packaging
  • Automotive and aerospace industries
  • Sporting goods
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical fields and pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental monitoring and control
  • Food science including quality control and packaging
  • Forensics
  • University and NHS research
  • Defence and national security
  • Energy capture and storage

Transferable skills

  • Evaluation of complex or incomplete data
  • Fact-based decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time-management

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

A*AA in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics (with the A* in any of the three subjects)

International Baccalaureate 37 points, including grade 6 or above in Higher-level Chemistry, Higher-level Physics and Higher-level Mathematics
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAA at Advanced Higher level in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
  • C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency: 176, with a minimum of 169 each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 21 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Applications from mature students are welcomed.

Next steps

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School of Natural Sciences

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