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Natural Sciences at Sidney

Natural Sciences at Cambridge

Natural Sciences is the framework within which most science subjects are taught at Cambridge. If you want to study any of the biological and physical sciences listed below, this is the course for you.

Natural Sciences offers a wide range of physical and biological science subjects from 16 departments in a unique and demanding course.

The general approach to science in Cambridge is such that there is no need to specialise in the first year. All undergraduates study three experimental subjects and one mathematical subject in their first year, three subjects in the second year, and then begin to concentrate on a particular area of interest in the third year. The Tripos may take three or four years to complete, the first year being Part IA, the second year Part IB, and the third year Part II. Where available, the fourth year is designated Part III.


Natural Sciences at Sidney

The Wilson Society

The Wilson Society is Sidney's society for all science undergraduates, postgraduates and Fellows. The society is named after Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, inventor of the cloud chamber, Nobel Prize winner and a former Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. It helps to foster an interdisciplinary view of all science subjects, as well as giving scientists the chance to meet socially outside the laboratory.

Over the last year we have had talks on such diverse topics as the functioning of the brain through to the design of computer games. Talks are always entertaining and usually given by highly eminent members of their profession. For more information about the society, please see the Wilson Society website.


Director of Studies (DoS)

Dr Christopher Doran (Fellow)

Dr Erika Eiser (Fellow)

Professor A L Greer (Fellow)

Dr Helen Leggett (Senior Research Fellow)

Dr Rohan Ranasinghe (Bye-Fellow, College Teaching Associate)

Dr Emma Weisblatt (External DoS)

Dr Owen Weller (Fellow)

Dr Matt Wilkinson (External DoS and College Teaching Associate)


Professor Sir Tom L Blundell

Mr Matthew J Cliffe (Research Fellow)

Professor William Jones

Dr Charlie McTernan

Dr Paul F Scott

Professor Sir John E Walker

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

All of our undergraduate students are allocated a Director of Studies and learn from specialists in particular areas of their subject. From time to time, individual teaching staff may be away on leave.

Typical Intake

14 - 20

Standard Entry Requirements

A*A*A at A Level

41-42 points in the IB, with 776 at Higher Level

Please see the University website for standard entry requirements in other qualifications.

Please note that offers are set on an individual basis using all of the information available to us in context of the entire field of applicants.

All Colleges require A Levels/IB Higher Levels in at least two science/mathematics subjects as a minimum, but this might limit your choice of options in the first year of the course.

For the Physical Sciences, A Level/IB Higher Level Mathematics is essential at all Colleges if you are intending to study Physics, and at Sidney we strongly recommend that you also take A Level Further Mathematics or IB Higher Level Physics. A Level Chemistry is essential if you wish to study Chemistry, and very useful for subjects such as Materials Science and Earth Sciences.

For the Biological Sciences, A Level/IB Higher Level Mathematics is not essential, but is strongly recommended. Chemistry is essential if you wish to take the Biology of Cells option in the first year. A Level/IB Higher Level Biology is not essential for any of the biological science options, but is very useful.

For detailed information about course requirements for Natural Sciences, please see the University introduction.

Admissions Process

Written work

We will not ask you to submit any written work as part of your application.

Admissions Assessments

Pre-interview assessment. Read more about the admissions assessment on the University website.


Two interviews that will be based on the subjects you have studied so far. Each interview will involve working through some scientific problems.

Find out more

Natural Sciences Tripos website

University website Natural Sciences course page

Skype interviews may be considered for international applicants on a case-by-case basis in certain subjects. If you wish to enquire further, please contact the Admissions Office (