What’s it like studying Natural Sciences at Durham?

Eve Routledge

I’m a first-year undergraduate studying Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science under the Natural Sciences programme. I chose to study this as I couldn’t choose between my two favourite subjects. They also complement each other so well I decided to find a course where I could continue to explore maths and computer science as a pair.

Flexibility and depth

Natural Sciences at Durham gives you the freedom to explore multiple scientific disciplines. Before starting the first year of university you get to choose which two or three science subjects you wish to study over your first year (I chose maths and computer science), once this choice is approved you can begin choosing your first-year modules. The modules you will choose will also be studied by students on the pure degree (if I choose Calculus I, those in a pure maths degree will study the module with me as well) this means you get as much depth and detail as those studying a pure degree! You don’t miss out on content, natural science isn’t a watered-down version of two pure degrees but in fact a degree that is in-depth and tailored to your passions!

My study set up, I’ve been at this desk a lot this term!

After first year you can decide whether to continue with the subjects you chose or you can switch subjects around (as long as you have the prerequisites) and even change to a pure degree if you have learnt you like one subject more than the other. The balance of content is completely up to you, you can have 75% in one subject and 25% in another or 50:50 or anywhere in between it is completely down to your preference. The director of Natural Science is also an email away if you need any advice or help with decisions.

Multiple departments

Studying two or more subjects means you now belong to more than just one subject department, this has allowed me to feel the benefits of multiple departments and their different resources. Here are a few of the benefits I have experienced from belonging to multiple departments:

This year I have had an academic advisor in each subject, this is an academic that is your point of call within the department, they are there for termly check-ins and you can ask them any questions both about course content and the subject department. Having multiple academic advisors gives you multiple contacts to help with queries.

Receiving careers help from multiple departments, each providing you with different kinds of jobs as they are subject specific, allows you to apply for a lot more opportunities and therefore increases your chances of receiving an internship or other experience.

Opportunities to meet and make friends is greatly expanded as you will meet people from both subjects and collaborate within tutorials and practicals, this larger group of people you interact through your studies is perfect to help find likeminded people as well as forming multiple friendship groups.

Fun in the snow at college

To wrap up…

The Natural Science Programme at Durham University allows you to take control of your own studies and pursue what you are passionate about while providing great support and opportunities.

Discover more

About studying Natural Sciences here

Download our latest prospectus and college guide here.

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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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