Apply the distinctive approaches of four disciplines to the study of biological structures, from the molecular level to whole organisms and ecosystems.
You'll gain a valuable grounding in the quantatative methods of biology, chemistry and physics and use these to understand the structure and complexity of the biological world.
World renowned Professor of Biological Physics, Mark Leake, has spearheaded the formation of the Biological and Physical Sciences Institute here at York. The institute has drawn together academics from a wide range of disciplines, enabling collaboration on projects including face recognition, imaging the brain, improving rice yields, and using low temperature plasmas as potential cures for cancer.
With more than 75 principal investigators and up to 150 researchers from across the physical and life sciences, York research into the biophysical sciences shows impressive depth and range. As a student here you will be able to tap into the knowledge and experience of lecturers who belong to this thriving intellectual community.
All our Natural Sciences MSci degrees have the same course code for your UCAS application. To select the Natural Sciences specialising in Mathematical Bioscience pathway, enter the subject option code "BiophSci". We will ask you to confirm your pathway if you are invited to interview.
"There is no other programme in the UK like Biophysical Science at York. It allows you to not only study chemistry, physics and biology but also develops your skills as a scientist. As a sixth form student I loved all the sciences and was fascinated by the interface between them; Biophysical Science has provided the perfect way for me to explore this."Lara, Biophysical Science (Year 2)
Natural Sciences specialising in Biophysical Science draws on biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to produce new ways of thinking about the big challenges in biology. You will study core topics across the natural sciences and mathematics, alongside a range of advanced topics. You'll take modules totalling 480 credits, covering:
The natural sciences will open up a wide range of career opportunities built around skill sets that will equip you to:
As a MSci student you'll also engage with further independent reserach in your fourth year, deepening your understanding in this exciting area.
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
Year 1 draws on course material from across biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics to prepare you for more advanced study.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
For your second year you will take modules from across biology, physics and chemistry.
In your third year you will build on the skills you’ve developed throughout your course and chose options to add depth to your understanding or explore a totally new area.
Choose two from the following:
The main focus of your final year is your independent research project. You’ll also study advanced core modules, building on the skills you’ve developed throughout your course.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
Natural Sciences offers a range of well-structured pathways built upon the natural synergies that exist across scientific disciplines.
Our weekly Natural Sciences Hour brings students together to hear from researchers and employers and to build transferable skills.
Study in world-leading research institutes and hi-tech learning spaces dedicated to interdisciplinary science.
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 will be provided to you at no additional cost for modules delivered by Biology, Chemistry and Physics, 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.
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.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.
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.
“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.
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.
The interdisciplinary nature of the natural sciences programme means that you will experience a wide variety of approaches to teaching, from formal lectures and practical experiments in the lab, 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. 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.
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.
For the natural scientist, conducting rigorous experiments and understanding the experimental method underpins the very nature of scientific inquiry and discovery.
Laboratory 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.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||11-14 hours per week|
|Seminars||1 hour per week|
|Problem classes||1-2 hour per week|
|Workshops||0-2 hour per week|
|Practicals||3-7 hours per week|
These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.
Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.
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: the Departments of Biology and Chemistry, Derwent and Vanbrugh Colleges, the Physics and Electronic Engineering building and the Spring Lane teaching building.
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.
A variety of assessment techniques will be used for different elements of the course and at different times during your degree. These include:
Assessment of your final year project includes a short oral examination, known as a viva, in which you will talk about your project with a panel of examiners.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
"Not only is the programme perfect but the environment at York is fantastic; the staff, the university and the city itself could not be nicer and the sense of community in the Natural Sciences cohort is unparalleled."Lara, Biophysical Science (Year 2)
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.
A*AA in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
|International Baccalaureate||37 points, including grade 6 or above in Higher-level Chemistry, Higher-level Physics and Higher-level Mathematics|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.|
|Contextual offers||If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.|
|EPQ||If you achieve A or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
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 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|TOEFL||87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 110|
For more information see our undergraduate 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.
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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