Natural Sciences Freshers - Choosing your modules - Step 1
The first thing to do is to have a good think about which subjects you would like to study. In particular, which subjects would you like to study to third or fourth year level. You will need to study these subjects in your first year and normally will need to take at least two of your modules in each of those subjects (you have to choose precisely 6 modules - most modules are single modules but there are some double modules, the final digit of the module code tells you the size of the module - for instance PHYS1122 is a double module and PHYS1101 is a single module).
Please note that over the three years of a B.Sc. degree in Natural Sciences at least 50% of the modules over the three years of the degree programme must be from the following subjects:
This will not affect the JH B.Sc. degrees (as all of these involve at least one of those subjects) or the M.Sci degrees (these only involve those subjects). I recommend that you take a total of at least three modules from the subjects the subjects above in your first year. If you have any queries about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Please note that you can only study the main first year Chemistry module - Core Chemistry 1A, if you wrote down Chemistry as one of the subjects that you wanted to study in Section 3(f) on your UCAS form. If you have any doubt about this, please contact me. Any student can select the Chemistry module Molecules in Action (CHEM1061) as long as they satisfy the prerequisites, you do not need to have mentioned Chemistry in section 3(f) of the UCAS form to take this module. You should note that this does not allow you to study any Chemistry in your second or third year. If you have named Chemistry as one of the subjects in Section 3(f) on your UCAS form and no longer wish to study it, there is no problem with you changing your mind and studying other subjects. Some students do find the transition between A-level and University Chemistry challenging due to the mathematical and theorertical approach at University level.
You might like to think about studying subjects that you might not have studied before such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Business, Earth Sciences, Economics, Geography, Philosophy or Psychology, none of the modules in these subjects have any prerequisites (prerequisites are qualifications you need to take the module) except Economics which requires A-level maths.
You can modules from subjects outside the Natural Sciences programme (that is those subjects that do not contribute to a Joint Honours degree within Natural Sciences), subject to timetable, having the right prerequisites and there being space available. A popular choice is a language. If you have an A level in a language (or the equivalent), and you wish to take a language module, you should look under the Modern European Languages and Culture entry for that language - for instance if its French, you should look under Modern European Languages and Cultures (French). If you do not have an A-level in a language, you should look at the modules under Modern European Languages and Cultures (Languages). You can look at the modules available in subjects outside the Natural Sciences degree programme by selecting the option 'All univ modules' on the menu on the right. You should then select Level 1 modules (in the first year all your modules will be Level 1) in the subject in which you are interested.
Please note that if you wish to take:
- Mathematics modules after the first year, you are strongly recommendedly to take:
Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061); Linear Algebra I (MATH1071); and Analysis I (MATH1051) (three Maths modules in total) in Year 1. If you do not take Analysis I (MATH1051) in Year 1, then if it does not fit into your timetable in Year 2 (there are no guarantees that it will fit), you will only have a very small set of Maths modules that you could take.
You should note that if you do not have an A at AS-level in Further Maths at either AS or A2 level then you should not take Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061) AND Linear Algebra I (MATH1071) (even if you do, you should expect them to be very hard.) There is an alternative, namely taking Single Maths A and Single Maths B. This alternative will cover their content at a gentler pace and level, but you need to be aware that if you take this alternative, you cannot in future years take any Level 2 Maths modules or Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061) or Linear Algebra I (MATH1071).
If you are going to take Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061) AND Linear Algebra I (MATH1071), you must complete the Summer Maths Workbook available from the BUYS page.
If you are going to take Single Maths A and Single Maths B you need to follow the Physics Departments Freshers advice about their Maths Workbook.
- Physics, you are recommended to take Foundations of Physics 1 (PHYS1122) and Discovery Skills in Physics (PHYS1101) (three Physics modules in total) in Year 1. If you do not take Discovery Skills in Year 1 (PHYS1101), then if it does not fit into your timetable in Year 2 (there are no guarantees that it will fit, but the chances are better than trying to fit Analysis I (MATH1051) into your second year) you will be able to do very little practical work in Physics and you will not be able to take fourth year modules in Physics. You must also take 2 maths modules to support the Physics, so read above to determine whether you should take Single Maths A/B or Linear Algebra, Calculus and Probability.
- Chemistry, Maths and Physics, then you have a tricky decision to make. It would be much easier if you prefer two of these subjects. For instance, if you prefer:
- Chemistry and Physics, then I would recommend you take 2 Chemistry (Core Chem 1A), 2 Physics (Foundations of Physics 1) and 2 Maths (either (Calculus And Probability I and Linear Algebra I) or (Single Maths A and Single Maths B)). This is the MSci in Chemistry and Physics. Note that taking these modules you cannot transfer to Physics at the end of Year 1, but you can transfer to Chemistry (with extra work.)
- Chemistry and Maths, I would recommend 2 Chemistry (Core Chem 1A) and 3 Maths (Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061) and Linear Algebra I (MATH1071) and Analysis I (MATH1051)) and one other (if you want to follow the M.Sci. in Chemistry and Maths, then the final module must be Problem Solving And Dynamics I (MATH1041)). You will be able to transfer to either Department at the end of Year 1 (with extra work) regardless of this last choice.
- Maths and Physics, you should take 3 Maths (Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061) and Linear Algebra I (MATH1071) and Analysis I (MATH1051)) and 2 Physics (Foundations of Physics 1) and one other (if you want to follow the M.Sci. in Maths and Physics then the final module should be Discovery Skills in Physics or Problem Solving And Dynamics I (MATH1041)). Taking Discovery Skills is the most sensible option as you will be able to transfer to either Physics or Maths at the end of the first year. If you don't take Discovery Skills, a transfer to Physics is out of the question.
If you can't decide between the three subjects then take the following: 2 Chemistry (Core Chem 1A), 2 Physics (Foundations of Physics 1) and 2 Maths (Calculus And Probability I (MATH1061) and Linear Algebra I (MATH1071)). Then if you want to be able to proceed with Maths, you have to hope that Analysis I (MATH1051) will fit in the timetable with year 2 Chemistry and Physics, but we cannot guarantee that it will. This set of options only leaves open the option of a transfer to Chemistry at the end of year 1 (with extra work.)
Biology has three distinct routes, Cell Biology, Ecological and Physiology. Note that:
- Cell Biology: is timetabled to work with Chemistry (BSc and MSci) and Physics (BSc and MSci);
- Ecological: is timetabled to work with Anthropology, Earth Sciences, Geography, Mathematics
- Physiology: is timetabled to work with Psychology.
To see which modules are timetable, follow the links above to the Joint-Honours webpages and look at the bottom of webpage.
If you are thinking of taking the BiologyEcological route, then you should read the requirements for clothing for field trips.
If you have a query please give me a ring on 0191 334 1028
For more information about the Natural Sciences degree programme, please contact:
Dr. James Blowey
Deputy Head of Faculty
Faculty of Science Office
Level 3 Chemistry Building
Tel: 0191 334 1014
Fax: 0191 334 1018
The Natural Sciences web pages are maintained by James Blowey