The Student Room Group

Natural Science at Cambridge vs Single Science at Oxford

What are the pros and cons of both?
If I choose physical natural science at Cambridge can I pick what I want to learn in year 1?
Can I pick physics, chemistry and evolution and behaviour in year 1 at Cambridge?
How does the personal statement work for natural science? do I write only about the science I'm most interested and would prefer to study as a single science?
How does natural science differ from single science?
If I'm specialising in one science at the end, is everything covered as much as single?
Other than the option to pick more than one science, what are the benefits of natural science over single science?
Is more content covered in single science?
Which is better?
What are the benefits of single science over natural science?
Is Cambridge natural science better than Oxford single science or vice versa?
Original post by haileylaurens
Is Cambridge natural science better than Oxford single science or vice versa?


Both are equally good
Original post by cristinaros
Both are equally good

I know, I'm just asking about the sciences courses.
:bump:
Original post by haileylaurens
What are the pros and cons of both?
If I choose physical natural science at Cambridge can I pick what I want to learn in year 1?
Can I pick physics, chemistry and evolution and behaviour in year 1 at Cambridge?
How does the personal statement work for natural science? do I write only about the science I'm most interested and would prefer to study as a single science?
How does natural science differ from single science?
If I'm specialising in one science at the end, is everything covered as much as single?
Other than the option to pick more than one science, what are the benefits of natural science over single science?
Is more content covered in single science?
Which is better?
What are the benefits of single science over natural science?
Is Cambridge natural science better than Oxford single science or vice versa?


most of these questions can be answered by just reading the course websites for the courses you're considering. There are no restrictions on module choices for year 1 natural sciences, and you should ideally write about all of the subjects you want to study in your PS
Original post by haileylaurens
What are the pros and cons of both?
If I choose physical natural science at Cambridge can I pick what I want to learn in year 1?
Can I pick physics, chemistry and evolution and behaviour in year 1 at Cambridge?
How does the personal statement work for natural science? do I write only about the science I'm most interested and would prefer to study as a single science?
How does natural science differ from single science?
If I'm specialising in one science at the end, is everything covered as much as single?
Other than the option to pick more than one science, what are the benefits of natural science over single science?
Is more content covered in single science?
Which is better?
What are the benefits of single science over natural science?
Is Cambridge natural science better than Oxford single science or vice versa?

1. Oxford has a number of science courses with around 5 exams in Year 1 and at least 7 to 12 or so exams between Year 2 and Year 3 and a Research project in Year 4:

Biochemistry (Molecular and Cellular): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biochemistry-molecular-and-cellular

Biology: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biology

Biomedical Sciences: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biomedical-sciences

Chemistry: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/chemistry

Computer Science: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/computer-science

Computer Science & Philosophy: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/computer-science-and-philosophy

Earth Sciences (Geology): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/earth-sciences-geology

Materials Science: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/materials-science

Physics: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/physics

Physics & Philosophy: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/physics-and-philosophy

Psychology (Experimental): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/psychology-experimental

2. Oxford has 5 to 10 lectures, 6 to 8 practical labs and 1 tutorial a week. However, Cambridge has lectures from 09:00 13:00 during Monday to Saturday too!

3. Cambridge Natural Sciences has many routes available: For example in Year 1, you could take Maths with Physics but Maths w/Physics is actually handled by the maths department and is more similar to IA Maths than IA natural sciences (so you have to sit STEP) and continue with Physics in Year 2. Also, Part IA Natural Sciences can lead to paths such as: Chemical Engineering.

4. At Cambridge during Year 1, you’re offered of any 4 subjects to be studied: Biology of Cells, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Evolution and Behaviour, Materials Science, Physics, Physiology of Organisms as well as a Maths and Mathematical Biology option.

5. At Cambridge during Year 2 Part IB of the Natural Sciences Tripos you take 3 subjects:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biology of Disease
Cell and Developmental Biology
Chemistry A
Chemistry B
Earth Sciences A
Earth Sciences B
Ecology, Evolution & Conservation (formerly Ecology)
Evolution & Animal Diversity (formerly Animal Biology)
Experimental Psychology
History and Philosophy of Science
Materials Science
Mathematics
Neurobiology
Pharmacology
Physics A
Physics B
Physiology
Plant and Microbial Sciences

6. During the third year at Cambridge you study for the Part II Tripos of The Natural Sciences Tripos:

Astrophysics*
Biochemistry*
Chemistry*
Genetics
Earth Sciences*
History and Philosophy of Science*
Materials Science*
Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour
Pathology
Pharmacology
Physics*
Physiology, Development, & Neuroscience
Plant Sciences
Psychology
Zoology
* denotes subjects in which you can continue into a fourth year

7. Yes, you can study your choices of Physics, Chemistry and Evolution and Behaviour as well as a 4th option during your 1st year.
8. The degree at Cambridge is more in-depth but Oxford do a tremendous amount of work too. https://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/contacts/course-websites

9. The personal statement is to be written about Natural Science courses that you’re also applying to at other universities such as Durham University. There is also a Supplementary Application Questionnaire form (SAQ) that has a personal statement section and you can write more about the specific features or courses you love about Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/saq

10. Oxford does single Sciences and has a very similar course structure with Year 1 exams and as well as Year 2 and Year 3 exams with a 4th Year of Research. Cambridge Natural Science course graduates can be found everywhere in the world and so can Oxford University Science courses graduates. However, Oxford will want a minimum of mostly A* and A grades at GCSE, where as Cambridge will be more interested in AS-Levels and A-Level scores as well as their own tests and the interviews. Cambridge don’t ask for all A* or A grades at GCSE and interview the vast majority of applicants but Oxford short list applicants and therefore interview far less. If it was me, I would apply for Cambridge Natural Sciences!!!

11. I considered all the Oxford Science courses as well as Cambridge Natural Sciences but I chose The Law Tripos at Cambridge because it offers more options in the 2nd and 3rd years and has more places per year and larger intakes of Law applicants at some colleges too, where I would be happiest rather than just a dozen or so at Oxford. :biggrin:

Good luck with Cambridge University Natural Sciences!!! :wink:
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by thegeek888
1. Oxford has a number of science courses with around 5 exams in Year 1 and at least 7 to 12 or so exams between Year 2 and Year 3 and a Research project in Year 4:

Biochemistry (Molecular and Cellular): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biochemistry-molecular-and-cellular

Biology: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biology

Biomedical Sciences: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/biomedical-sciences

Chemistry: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/chemistry

Computer Science: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/computer-science

Computer Science & Philosophy: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/computer-science-and-philosophy

Earth Sciences (Geology): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/earth-sciences-geology

Materials Science: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/materials-science

Physics: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/physics

Physics & Philosophy: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/physics-and-philosophy

Psychology (Experimental): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/psychology-experimental

2. Oxford has 5 to 10 lectures, 6 to 8 practical labs and 1 tutorial a week. However, Cambridge has lectures from 09:00 13:00 during Monday to Saturday too!

3. Cambridge Natural Sciences has many routes available: For example in Year 1, you could take Maths with Physics and continue with Physics in Year 2. Also, Part IA Natural Sciences can lead to paths such as: Computer Science or even Chemical Engineering. Furthermore you could study the Part II i.e. Year 2 and Year 3 of a completely different subject like Economics, Law or Management and even a Language.

4. At Cambridge during Year 1, you’re offered of any 4 subjects to be studied: Biology of Cells, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Evolution and Behaviour, Materials Science, Physics, Physiology of Organisms as well as a Maths and Mathematical Biology option.

5. At Cambridge during Year 2 Part IB of the Natural Sciences Tripos you take 3 subjects:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biology of Disease
Cell and Developmental Biology
Chemistry A
Chemistry B
Earth Sciences A
Earth Sciences B
Ecology, Evolution & Conservation (formerly Ecology)
Evolution & Animal Diversity (formerly Animal Biology)
Experimental Psychology
History and Philosophy of Science
Materials Science
Mathematics
Neurobiology
Pharmacology
Physics A
Physics B
Physiology
Plant and Microbial Sciences

6. During the third year at Cambridge you study for the Part II Tripos of The Natural Sciences Tripos:

Astrophysics*
Biochemistry*
Chemistry*
Genetics
Earth Sciences*
History and Philosophy of Science*
Materials Science*
Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour
Pathology
Pharmacology
Physics*
Physiology, Development, & Neuroscience
Plant Sciences
Psychology
Zoology
* denotes subjects in which you can continue into a fourth year

7. Yes, you can study your choices of Physics, Chemistry and Evolution and Behaviour as well as a 4th option during your 1st year.
8. The degree at Cambridge is more in-depth but Oxford do a tremendous amount of work too. https://www.natsci.tripos.cam.ac.uk/contacts/course-websites

9. The personal statement is to be written about Natural Science courses that you’re also applying to at other universities such as Durham University. There is also a Supplementary Application Questionnaire form (SAQ) that has a personal statement section and you can write more about the specific features or courses you love about Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/saq

10. Oxford does single Sciences and has a very similar course structure with Year 1 exams and as well as Year 2 and Year 3 exams with a 4th Year of Research. Cambridge Natural Science course graduates can be found everywhere in the world and so can Oxford University Science courses graduates. However, Oxford will want a minimum of mostly A* and A grades at GCSE, where as Cambridge will be more interested in AS-Levels and A-Level scores as well as their own tests and the interviews. Cambridge don’t ask for all A* or A grades at GCSE and interview the vast majority of applicants but Oxford short list applicants and therefore interview far less. If it was me, I would apply for Cambridge Natural Sciences!!!

11. I considered all the Oxford Science courses as well as Cambridge Natural Sciences but I chose The Law Tripos at Cambridge because it offers more options in the 2nd and 3rd years and has more places per year and larger intakes of Law applicants at some colleges too, where I would be happiest rather than just a dozen or so at Oxford. :biggrin:

Good luck with Cambridge University Natural Sciences!!! :wink:

Good post, but some of this isn't quite correct:

On point 3:
a) Maths w/Physics is actually handled by the maths department and is more similar to IA Maths than IA natural sciences (so you have to sit STEP).
b) You can't switch to compsci from natural sciences anymore.
c) I'm not sure where you've got this from, but I'm pretty certain you can't switch subjects for part II, except to the Judge Business School. Also, part II is year 3 (&4), not 2&3

on point 4:
You're offered three (not four, though I might just be misunderstanding your wording here) of the courses you've listed plus one of maths or math bio
Original post by Theloniouss
Good post, but some of this isn't quite correct:

On point 3:
a) Maths w/Physics is actually handled by the maths department and is more similar to IA Maths than IA natural sciences (so you have to sit STEP).
b) You can't switch to compsci from natural sciences anymore.
c) I'm not sure where you've got this from, but I'm pretty certain you can't switch subjects for part II, except to the Judge Business School. Also, part II is year 3 (&4), not 2&3

on point 4:
You're offered three (not four, though I might just be misunderstanding your wording here) of the courses you've listed plus one of maths or math bio

I was confused by all of that from the post too lol
Original post by Theloniouss
Good post, but some of this isn't quite correct:

On point 3:
a) Maths w/Physics is actually handled by the maths department and is more similar to IA Maths than IA natural sciences (so you have to sit STEP).
b) You can't switch to compsci from natural sciences anymore.
c) I'm not sure where you've got this from, but I'm pretty certain you can't switch subjects for part II, except to the Judge Business School. Also, part II is year 3 (&4), not 2&3

on point 4:
You're offered three (not four, though I might just be misunderstanding your wording here) of the courses you've listed plus one of maths or math bio

I've edited it now with the corrections you suggested! :smile: lol I was writing the post at 4AM in the morning. Just before going to sleep, so I was not alert to my best. But yes, I would study Natural Sciences as I have Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry as well as Further Mechanics 1 and 2 at Further Maths which is Mechanics in Physics A-Level. But I decided on the Law Tripos. :wink:
Original post by summerbirdreads
I was confused by all of that from the post too lol

I wrote it from my research of UCAS choices in a MS Word document. However, I added quite a lot of my own content too to the post and it was written at 4AM in the morning just before sleeping, so I was not alert! :smile: lol But I have edited it the post now and all is well!!! :biggrin:

Quick Reply

Latest