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Natural Sciences

Information for Natural Sciences Freshers


This section of the Natural Sciences web site is for those of you who have been met the conditions of their offer and been accepted for Natural Sciences at Durham for entry in October 2013. In the coming months as plans crystalize, this webpage will be updated by 15th August 2013. Mean time, the information here is in most cases relevant.

You will be arriving in Durham on Sunday 29th September 2013 and you start your lectures on Monday 9th October 2013. Those days are very busy and in order that you can be inducted into your main science department(s) you should make tentative choice of modules before you arrive in Durham. Once I have received your tentative module choices via the web form which is further on in these web pages, I will look at your selection, make sure they satisfy the degree regulations and comment on them from the point of view of what options this choice will give you at the end of your first year. Please allow some time for me to get back to you about this, so that you can settle on a choice by Thursday 19th September 2013.

Induction (which includes registration) takes place between Monday 30th September and Friday 5th October

Time Room Purpose
Monday 13:00-14:00 CLC203 Induction
Monday 14:00-16:00 CG307A Registration Surgery
Tuesday 09:00-12:00 CG307A Registration Surgery
Thursday 09:00-10:00 CG85 Induction
Friday 13:00-14:00 ES228/229 Induction repeated

Note that your module choices will determine your induction programme (check back in the week before term starts for more information such as the overarching webpage which informs you of the rooms being used. Links to individual departments/schools induction plans can be found at: The University has three slots on Monday and Tuesday in Departments and the plan is based on having two streams for students majoring in two subjects (Maths-Physics-Chemistry) and (Psychology-Biology-Chemistry.)

If you have chosen your modules already

  • Why haven't my modules been approved? This could be because Departments are waiting to see you or that there is a problem with your choices. Wait until at least Thursday morning before you take action because that will give time for Departments to register you and for me to contact you at your Durham email address if there is a problem, but don't be afraid to ask me if you want reassurance. The registration sessions above are primarily designed as surgeries for students to resolve their choices.
  • How can I get overarching academic advice? During induction week, my door is open all week 09:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00. In normal term-time I operate an open door policy every day 8:45-13:00. Note that I liketo keep afternoons clear. My room is at CG307A - top floor of the Chemistry Department.
  • How can I get subject specific academic advice? For Science subjects you will be given an advisor where you take at least where you take at least 40 credits in that subject - this might take a couple of weeks to happen as you need registration to go through. In addition Liaison Officers can offer expert for Natural Sciences students (not just in Science).
  • What happens if I want to change my modules once I am registered? You need to figure out a set of modules which satisfy the rules I apply (see the Handbook) and then a Change of Registration can be initiated from CG307A (or any good Department) where the process will be explained. You don't need to see me in person and I will check that all changes adhere to the rules.
  • If I have got a general question what should I do? Go to DUO > Natural Sciences Info and browse. If you can't find the answer there come and talk to me in CG307A (see above.)
  • If I missed the introductory talk, what should I do? Read the slides the ones for last year are here: (pptx | pdf) and engage with the induction activities going on in Departments. Then there were the slides from the Careers talk by CEEC

If you have yet to select your modules

Follow the instructions on how to choose your modules and if you have any queries, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. The degree programme is complicated so don't worry if you have any difficulties, just give me a ring and I will try and explain the system ! It is easier if you ring me rather than email me!

I have built a page of reading lists for the core modules in the subjects that contribute to the Natural Sciences degree programme. This page is here

Move to the Step 1 of module selection

Best wishes

James Blowey 
Deputy Head of Faculty

Natural Sciences web site
Tel: 0191 334 1014

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
Durham University

Tel: 0191 334 1014
Fax: 0191 334 1018

WWW: Natural Sciences home page

The Natural Sciences web pages are maintained by James Blowey