We accept both mature and, in some cases, affiliated students for the undergraduate study of both Biological and Physical Sciences. The choice between the two options is made on the Supplementary Application Questionnaire but is not a binding choice – candidates in either stream can study any of the subjects they are qualified for. Details of options can be found on the course website; first year students must study three experimental sciences as well as a maths option.
Upon the College receiving your application, if appropriate, you will be called for interview, including an interview with the person who will become your personal Director of Studies (DoS). On acceptance into St Edmund’s College, your DoS will contact you before you arrive in Cambridge (by email) and then meet with you soon after your arrival to discuss your choice of course options.
Students studying the Natural Sciences in the first year (Part IA) take 4 courses, one of which must be some aspect of mathematics. To help familiarise yourself with the Cambridge examination system, we organise mock examinations for you directly before the Lent term in mid-January, during which you will be questioned on the previous term’s work.
There is further information about the course on the University and Course webpages. These sites also have links to the individual departments involved with teaching the Natural Sciences course.
Please note that an Access to HE course alone is not considered adequate preparation.
Most students have at least three science/mathematics A Levels. The minimum requirement is two, but this will restrict your choice of Part IA options. In these circumstances, you’ll normally be expected to achieve A* in both of the science/mathematics subjects and encouraged to take an additional science/mathematics AS Level. The more useful combinations are:
- A Level Biology, A Level Chemistry, and AS Level Mathematics or Physics (for Biological scientists)
- A Level Chemistry, A Level Mathematics, and AS Level Biology or Physics (a good general combination)
- A Level Physics, A Level Mathematics and AS Level Further Mathematics (for Physical scientists)
See also the Part IA paper descriptions for specific subject requirements for each Year 1 option.
Candidates are encouraged, where possible, to apply by the October deadline and to take the pre-interview Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment; more information can be found on the University website
. Candidates who have not taken the NSAA will be required to take an at interview admissions test. Further information about this will be provided.
Please note that your performance in the assessment at interview will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.