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Worms
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#1
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I read in another thread that some Natural Science degrees aren't as well respected as single science degrees.

I wanted to study Natural Science, as I want to study Science, but I my unsure what area of science to study.

Thanks
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ahpadt
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As far as I know you do specialise within year 1 or 2 anyway, so it's just a slightly more "muted" degree than what you'd get with a "straight" science.

Personally I would recommend to try to figure out which one you like the most before going to uni and picking a single science, but if you can't pick, Natural Science is fine.

The only downer I've heard about Natural Science is that you don't really belong to a specific dept. so your timetable might not be pretty (thrown around).
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pheonix254
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I can't speak for anyone else, but If I see "Physics" on one application and "Natural Science" on another, I'd chuck the NS one in the bin.

There are umpteen thousand degree titles - employers only have so much patience when they're sifting through 60 applications for each place offered. If I have to ask "What the hell is that?" then I'm already leaning towards that wastepaper basket. The more boring, standard and old-fashioned the degreee title, the more likely you tick the box and go to the next level.

Naturally it depends - maybe some employers understand what a Natural Science degree is. to me it says birdwatching, nature, WWF, Greenpeace - whereas yeah, it's probably a mish mash of Biology, Chemistry and Physics if I think about it for more than 2 seconds (which I won't - there are 60 applications here, remember?) Although maybe thats why HR departments spend so long doing "stuff" - they might actually research these sorts of things, rather than pay me my expenses on time...

So I'm not trying to belittle the degree - it's probably very good, I wouldn't know, I haven't studied it, but the answer to your question is no - due to inherant human prejudices (which are probably wrong), it will not be as respected as a single science.

Once you're in for interview, however, that point is no longer relevant. And you get plus points for it being "Science" rather than "psychology."
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LinzyLoo
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If you can narrow it down to either biology, chemistry or physics, then you could pick one of these broad areas to study, because you will probably be able to change your specific degree part-way through. I started off studying food science, but at my uni, all the biological sciences are grouped together for the first two years so everybody gets a good base in everything. After 2 years I had done a few microbiology modules and loved them so I decided to change. It is easy to do and a lot of people do it. I would never have considered micro before I went to uni. You probably won't get a feel for each subject until you're actually doing different modules at uni and finding out what it's really like. So don't worry about chosing a specific course now, just keep it to one area of science, because you can always change later. (You might want to email someone at the uni just to double check that you can do this though).
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LinzyLoo
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(Original post by Worms)
I know I want to go into a biological area maybe biochemistry at a stretch. It's just that I don't really know what area I like, I thought I hated ecological biology, but I'm not 100% sure.

I wish we had the American system, when you can choose what you do as you go along.


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Yeah, you can just do any general biology course then. In my lectures in 1st and 2nd year, there were students from food science, microbiology, cell & molecular bio, biomedical science, biological sciences diploma, and pharmacology. Everybody learns much the same stuff for the first two years and you can change at the end of 1st or 2nd year. So there's no pressure to pick exactly what you want to do right now. Obviously they have to leave room for people changing their minds because when you leave school you have very little idea of what each topic is like. I loved genetics at school when I was 17, and went to uni to study it initially, but ended up leaving and going back in a few years. Turns out I don't actually like genetics much! On the other hand, in school I hated all the environmental stuff. But after doing some in 2nd year I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed it! Just email the uni for advice because they will be able to tell you what you are likely to learn and how flexible your chosen subject will be, in terms of switching later. They will be helpful and hopefully put you at ease
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SuperCat007
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I have to admit that some people have no idea what Natural Sciences is but the people who count, i.e. scientific employers and academics (in my experience) know exactly what it is and respect you for studying it. I work in a microbiology lab which isn't really my area of interest, so I have decided to study Nat Sci at uni, it means if I want to specialise in Micro I can. But if I don't I can specialise in something else. I love chemistry and quantum physics but I don't want to just have a physics, chem or biochem degree, I want to be able to mix and match and have a choice on what I specialise in.

Don't be put off by people not knowing what it is, if they're worth working for they'll know and respect it. It's generally only the un-enlightened who think it's an airy fairy vegans' degree. If that's what you want to study then go for it; obviously Cambridge would look the best on your CV, but there are some other great uni's out there too.
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by Worms)
Thank you
No problem. I start with UEA in September after completing 2 years with the OU so once I'm started if you want any advice or to ask what the course is like then feel free to get in touch.
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PJNolen
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Getting in touch.Hi there, I'm starting UEA this year. I'll be in the foundation year then moving on to a Natural science degree. What has been your experience with it?Thanks!
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sindyscape62
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(Original post by pheonix254)
I can't speak for anyone else, but If I see "Physics" on one application and "Natural Science" on another, I'd chuck the NS one in the bin.

There are umpteen thousand degree titles - employers only have so much patience when they're sifting through 60 applications for each place offered. If I have to ask "What the hell is that?" then I'm already leaning towards that wastepaper basket. The more boring, standard and old-fashioned the degreee title, the more likely you tick the box and go to the next level.

Naturally it depends - maybe some employers understand what a Natural Science degree is. to me it says birdwatching, nature, WWF, Greenpeace - whereas yeah, it's probably a mish mash of Biology, Chemistry and Physics if I think about it for more than 2 seconds (which I won't - there are 60 applications here, remember?) Although maybe thats why HR departments spend so long doing "stuff" - they might actually research these sorts of things, rather than pay me my expenses on time...

So I'm not trying to belittle the degree - it's probably very good, I wouldn't know, I haven't studied it, but the answer to your question is no - due to inherant human prejudices (which are probably wrong), it will not be as respected as a single science.

Once you're in for interview, however, that point is no longer relevant. And you get plus points for it being "Science" rather than "psychology."
Do you realise that Natural Sciences is the only science degree offered by the University of Cambridge? So many of the best physicists, chemists and biologists in the country have it as their degree. The concept certainly shouldn't be unfamiliar to any recruiter who regularly deals with science graduates.
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k.g.
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what does the cambridge natural science degree say. does it just say natural science or does it say what yo+u specialised in?
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ordpriya
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I’m considering natural sciences, but unsure about what career I would go into afterwards. Any advice on this?
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phoebeg76
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Hi! I currently study Natural Sciences at Durham University, just about to finish my final year.
Just wanted to say that a Natural Sciences degree is just as respected, if not more respected, as a single honours science by employers.
It shows that you can bring together different areas of science to find solutions - no real-world scientific problem is purely a physics, chemistry, or biology problem.
You also learn many more transferrable skills and have to manage your time better than single honour students, which are really appealing traits that employers look for. A lot of employers also value Natural Sciences degrees higher than single honours sciences as a NatSci degree is often considered harder.
No employer that looks for STEM graduates or has a history of hiring STEM graduates will be confused by a CV that says Natural Sciences on it. They're very used to it and they know what it is.
I had no problem getting interviews for graduate schemes for after I graduate, and none of the employers I interviewed at were confused at my degree title.
As for future careers, you can apply for most jobs that ask for a degree in a specific science, as well as the many jobs that just ask for a STEM degree.
I study Biology and Maths within NatSci, and I also did some Chemistry in my first year. I found I could apply and get far through the application process for graduate schemes asking for Maths grads and Biology grads, because I have the skills and the knowledge from both subjects.
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dan150999
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(Original post by phoebeg76)
Hi! I currently study Natural Sciences at Durham University, just about to finish my final year.
Just wanted to say that a Natural Sciences degree is just as respected, if not more respected, as a single honours science by employers.
It shows that you can bring together different areas of science to find solutions - no real-world scientific problem is purely a physics, chemistry, or biology problem.
You also learn many more transferrable skills and have to manage your time better than single honour students, which are really appealing traits that employers look for. A lot of employers also value Natural Sciences degrees higher than single honours sciences as a NatSci degree is often considered harder.
No employer that looks for STEM graduates or has a history of hiring STEM graduates will be confused by a CV that says Natural Sciences on it. They're very used to it and they know what it is.
I had no problem getting interviews for graduate schemes for after I graduate, and none of the employers I interviewed at were confused at my degree title.
As for future careers, you can apply for most jobs that ask for a degree in a specific science, as well as the many jobs that just ask for a STEM degree.
I study Biology and Maths within NatSci, and I also did some Chemistry in my first year. I found I could apply and get far through the application process for graduate schemes asking for Maths grads and Biology grads, because I have the skills and the knowledge from both subjects.
Hey, what field do you work in now?
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phoebeg76
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(Original post by dan150999)
Hey, what field do you work in now?
Hi! I work in cyber security now!
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hariisawesome
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(Original post by pheonix254)
I can't speak for anyone else, but If I see "Physics" on one application and "Natural Science" on another, I'd chuck the NS one in the bin.

There are umpteen thousand degree titles - employers only have so much patience when they're sifting through 60 applications for each place offered. If I have to ask "What the hell is that?" then I'm already leaning towards that wastepaper basket. The more boring, standard and old-fashioned the degreee title, the more likely you tick the box and go to the next level.

Naturally it depends - maybe some employers understand what a Natural Science degree is. to me it says birdwatching, nature, WWF, Greenpeace - whereas yeah, it's probably a mish mash of Biology, Chemistry and Physics if I think about it for more than 2 seconds (which I won't - there are 60 applications here, remember?) Although maybe thats why HR departments spend so long doing "stuff" - they might actually research these sorts of things, rather than pay me my expenses on time...

So I'm not trying to belittle the degree - it's probably very good, I wouldn't know, I haven't studied it, but the answer to your question is no - due to inherant human prejudices (which are probably wrong), it will not be as respected as a single science.

Once you're in for interview, however, that point is no longer relevant. And you get plus points for it being "Science" rather than "psychology."
No idea where you work but from what I’ve heard it’s the opposite. Natural sciences from Cambridge and employers licking their lips
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HRobson_BMC
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I would have imagined that NatSci would be more highly valued; in some combinations NatSci is viewed more like doing two separate degrees, meaning (roughly) twice the work is implied. I know that some of the NatSci courses I've looked at are very selective, with immense competition for ~50 places. In my experience NatSci degrees also have higher entry requirements, suggesting that they would be more valuable to employers as they require 'more capable' students.
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hariisawesome
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(Original post by HRobson_BMC)
I would have imagined that NatSci would be more highly valued; in some combinations NatSci is viewed more like doing two separate degrees, meaning (roughly) twice the work is implied. I know that some of the NatSci courses I've looked at are very selective, with immense competition for ~50 places. In my experience NatSci degrees also have higher entry requirements, suggesting that they would be more valuable to employers as they require 'more capable' students.
Nat Sci is definitely not equivalent to doing a single degree, unless you specialise in the final year or only choose subjects related to one subject, but it is very good that you have covered all the sciences (if you choose all of them). It’s not much harder than a pure maths or physics degree though.
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SteamedBuns
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Worms)
I read in another thread that some Natural Science degrees aren't as well respected as single science degrees.

I wanted to study Natural Science, as I want to study Science, but I my unsure what area of science to study.

Thanks
Really depend on the uni too. The course structure is really important as there will be unis offering this degree with a course that has significantly more workload than a single science degree and ones that don't really go into much detail. Recruiters will know which NatSci courses are more respected than others
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