Natural Sciences

  • Intake: 26 
  • Typical Offers: A*A*A 
  • Essential Subjects: Mathematics and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology
  • Desirable Subjects: Any further science subjects/or Further Maths
  • Assessment: Pre Registration Assessment
  • Faculty website:
  • Chemistry at Queens' is supported by The Haszeldine Fund.


Information about Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) can be found on the University websites: and

In addition, webpages of the individual Departments have information about courses that they teach. It is important to understand that, although the NST presents an integrated approach to study Natural Sciences, each individual course is taught and examined by the respective Department or group of Departments.

The course is divided into Part I and Part II, and in many cases there is an optional Part III. The ability to read several subjects in Part I distinguishes NST from the single-subject courses offered by most other Universities. NST is especially suited for those who wish to explore a broad range of science in the early years at University level (which is very different from school) before making their final choice of a preferred subject in which to specialise. But those who feel they know where they are heading at the outset benefit no less from the breadth of subjects on offer in Part I NST: modern science is increasingly and inevitably multi-disciplinary, and gaining some basic knowledge in a few “minor subjects” in addition to your preferred one is always a plus.

Part I takes two years, with Part II and Part III a further year each. In the first year (designated as Part IA) students have to choose a Mathematics course and three Science courses from a large selection. In the second year (Part IB) students take three courses that follow from their first year selections. The spread is up to you: for example, in Part IB it could be Physics A, Physics B and Materials Science at one end of the spectrum, or Pharmacology, Neurobiology and Experimental Psychology at another. The first selection will lead you into Part II Physics, Astrophysics, or Material Science (each then offering the possibility of a MSci degree in Part III), while the second allows you to choose Part II in Pharmacology, Physiology, Neuroscience, Psychology or History & Philosophy of Science.

We broadly divide Natural Sciences into Physical and Biological (although there is a lot happening at the interface) and, accordingly, there are two separate Directors of Studies for these two streams.  However, we do not like to pigeon-hole students as one or the other. Many students take a combination of physical and biological subjects in Part I, which we actively encourage, and so naturally have a foothold in both camps. 

Natural Science at Queens’

Queens' College has a very strong Natural Science community, with many teaching Fellows covering almost all angles of the Physical and Biological sciences (see below), and several Research Fellows, Post-Doctoral Associates and PhD students who also contribute to teaching and an overall atmosphere of shared interest and enthusiasm for science. We take about 30 students to read NST every year, so the group acts as a community in its own right. The student-run Milner Society unites this community and offers a range of both social and academic activities. Recently, one of our part III students was part of the team that created the first billion-atom simulation of DNA.

The Natural Sciences Admission Assessment (NSAA) is a University-wide programme that contributes towards admissions decisions. The NSAA is run early in the Autumn.

Candidates meeting the initial qualification criteria are invited for interview in December. During this visit they will be interviewed by at least two Fellows of the College in Natural Sciences, in two interviews. 

Queens’ Natural Science Fellows 

Dr Sarah Williams, Director of Studies

Astrophysics and Physics

Dr Howard Stone, Assistant Director of Studies (Materials)

Materials Science and Metallurgy

Dr Jane Garrison, Assistant Director of Studies (Psychology)

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

Prof Beverley Glover, Director of Studies (Biological, Part IB)

Evolutionary Biology

Dr David Parker, Director of Studies (Biological, Parts II & III)


Prof Eugene TerentjevJohn Baldwin Fellow in Physics

Polymer and Biological Physics 

Dr Howard Jones, Assistant Director of Studies 


Dr Ana Rossi, College Lecturer 

Biochemistry and Pharmacology 

Prof Anthony Challinor, College Lecturer 

Cosmology and Astrophysics

Dr Jamie BlundellAnthony L. Lyster Fellow in Biological Natural Sciences & College Lecturer

Quantitative Biology 

Prof Marie Edmonds, Ron Oxburgh Fellow in Earth Sciences & College Lecturer

Earth Sciences: Petrology

Dr Edwige MoyroudNiccoli Fellow in Biological Natural Sciences & College Lecturer 

Plant Sciences and Cell & Developmental Biology 

Prof James Jackson, College Lecturer 

Geophysics, Geodynamics and Tectonics

Dr Chris Hill, College Lecturer

Molecular Biology and Virology

Dr Richard Jennings, Assistant Director of Studies

History & Philosophy of Science 

Prof Anthony Lasenby, Professorial Fellow

Cosmology and Astrophysics

Prof Rod Jones, Professional Fellow

Atmospheric Chemistry

Dr Gillian Fraser, Fellow Commoner

Cell Biology and Microbiology

Find out more information about the Natural Sciences courseFind out what type of jobs our Graduates enter into after finishing the Natural Sciences course.