What is it like to study Natural Sciences at Durham University?

Eve Routledge

A bit about the Natural Sciences degree (NatSci)?

Natural Sciences is the jack of all trades of degrees – you get to study multiple science subjects with the same depth but more flexibility. For example, in my first two years, I studied 50% mathematics modules and 50% computer science modules. Your modules are with those studying pure degrees as well, so you get to make friends across your subject, not just natural science students. In my third and final year of study, I am doing 40% computer science and 60% mathematics so you can even choose a different split between modules. In fact, you can study across three different subjects and even drop one in your second year if you don’t like it as much as the others. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

An Average Work Week

I have six modules each with two lectures a week and a practical/ tutorial. That’s roughly 18 scheduled hours a week. The lecturers would teach the content to a large group of students (200+) and we would consolidate the learning in our tutorials where we solve problems with a smaller group (5-6 people). Usually, I work 9-5 with the Wednesday afternoon off as this is when most sports groups meet. As you can tell, studying science subjects is a little intense but there are plenty of things to do in Durham.

Why Natural Sciences?

Personally, I would never do a pure degree after experiencing NatSci, mainly because I think I have the best of both worlds with my degree (the applications of computer science and the challenge of the theory behind mathematics). I am usually better at maths than those studying computer science so the theory-heavy subjects such as artificial intelligence comes somewhat naturally. In mathematics, when we need to use Python or R to model and plot data, I am already well-accustomed. I’ve also got a friendship group from each subject, and I see more people in a day than those in pure subjects. Winning in the academics and in the social life!

Why Durham?

I got to experience Durham on the Supported Progression programme where I studied Computer Science for a week at the department. That was brilliant but what truly sold me on Durham was the flexibility of this course, and that both of my subjects are taught so well here. I really couldn’t find this combination anywhere else – exceptional teaching standards in both subjects. And a quick shout out to the college system! This also swayed me as the smaller community feel of a college made the transition away from home easier.

Discover more

Visit BSc Natural Sciences webpage for more information.

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Eve Routledge

My name's Eve I'm a first year undergraduate at Durham University studying Natural Sciences with Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science from st Cuthbert's Society. I am involved in societies such as CompSoc, MathsSoc and DUWiT- I'm a little science obsessed. I am also a first generation university student from Cumbria.

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