Natural Sciences (Physical)

Physical Natural Sciences at Homerton benefits greatly from the relatively large size of the cohort, and the collaborative working community this builds.

Course details

Number of students per year
Typical offer
A*A*A at A-level; 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level for the IB.
Essential subjects
At least two Science/ Mathematics subjects
Useful subjects
Physics, Mathematics, Further Mathematics

At Homerton

At Homerton we accept around 30 Natural Scientists each year, and around 15 of these have applied through the “physical” route. Our College Fellows share responsibility for guiding you through your courses, and we conduct many supervisions personally. They will encourage you to be your very best, but also help you to cope with the pressures of an intense course.

Physical Sciences at Homerton benefits greatly from the relatively large size of the cohort, which means that, even in later years, you will not feel isolated as it is unlikely that you are the only student in college doing your course. The ability to discuss your work with fellow students is a great boon, and we try to encourage group work whenever possible (with the obvious exception of assessed work).

The teaching for the first two years is provided by Fellows and Bye-Fellows of the college, with additional support from PhD candidates who are often researching material related to the fundamentals taught in the foundation course. Our teaching is of a very high standard, and in the four years since the Cambridge University Student Union run Teaching Excellence awards have been running, Homerton has won the Outstanding Supervisor award twice and a commendation for excellence in Supervising once. We are trying very hard to continue this run of success!

Hear from our students:

"I’ve found that Homerton has been a really inclusive and diverse college which is something I really value. Studying Natural Sciences at Homerton is really great as there is such a big community of us where everyone is more than happy to share ideas and help each other out with the workload." - Leah Belson


At Cambridge

The Natural Sciences Tripos is a great way continue to study a wide range of sciences before continuing in depth in later years. This allows you to ‘try before you buy’ and experience what a university level chemistry course or physics is actually like.

The Physical Science courses are radically different from A-level courses and normally require a lot more mathematical fluency. This often comes as a shock to most students at whatever University they study. Sometimes they realise that what they thought they enjoyed the most was Physics, but with the extra mathematical fluency required they are instead drawn to the more qualitative aspects of Earth Sciences or Organic Chemistry. Conversely the lack of such mathematics at school-level might have meant that the joys of Physics, Physical Chemistry or Materials Science were occluded. The ability to sample different courses with no loss of content will allow you to best choose what suits you.

What We Look For

We are looking for students who have the academic ability and potential to succeed on the course, as well as the necessary interest in and motivation for the subject.

In order to explore Natural Sciences in more detail we would recommend the introductory reading for prospective applicants and offer holders listed here.

How To Apply

Although we do occasionally consider applicants with two science and/ or mathematics A-levels, most applicants have at least three of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics to A-level. Your A-level subjects may affect which subjects you can take in the first year, but Biology of Cells, Earth Sciences, Evolution and Behaviour and Physiology of Organisms do not require any particular A-level subjects.

Admission Assessment: Applicants for Natural Sciences will take a pre-registration required written assessment in their schools or colleges in the year of application. For further information on the registration deadline and date of the assessment, please have a look here. More detail on the application process, the format and content for the assessment is available in the online Prospectus. For Natural Sciences admissions, Homerton does not require STEP papers, nor do we currently ask for any additional qualifications or tests beyond those that are required by the University in general. 

There is no requirement to submit written work for Natural Sciences.