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The Natural Sciences Tripos is the framework within which most science is taught in Cambridge. Sixteen departments contribute to the course, and Natural Scientists can choose from a wide range of options in the physical and biological sciences, as well as the history and philosophy of science. About half of Cambridge Natural Sciences graduates go on to further study or research; others enter banking, accountancy, law, consultancy and the media.

Natural Sciences is one of the most diverse and dedicated subject communities in college. We also have a very strong postgraduate presence, with around fifty MPhil and PhD Biologists, Biochemists, Biotechnologists, Chemists, Earth Scientists and Physicists, alongside teaching and research staff.


Further information about the course can be found on the Tripos and University websites.

Typical offers require

  • A Level: A*A*A
  • IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level 

For other qualifications, see the main entrance requirements pages on the University website.

Course Requirements

Physical Natural Sciences

  •  A Level Mathematics and at least two of Chemistry, Further Mathematics, and Physic

Biological Natural Sciences

  •  A Level Mathematics and Chemistry, and one other science/mathematics subject
  • For Biological Natural Sciences our admissions panel will consider applicants with an Access to Science course and two science A Levels

  • Open University modules or a Certificate of Higher Education could form part of an application but would not be sufficient alone to meet the entrance requirements

*Please note that in the following 'science/mathematics subjects' refers to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics* and Further Mathematics. It does not include Psychology.

A Level applicants are encouraged to take A Level Further Mathematics if available.

Successful applicants for both Natural Sciences routes (Physical and Biological) usually have the equivalent of three Science/Maths A Levels* at grade A or A*. Find out more about the course requirements here.


Number of students 

We aim to admit around ten students per year for Natural Sciences (physical) and around ten students per year for Natural Sciences (biological)

Admissions Assessment

  • All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for Natural Sciences at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).  This assessment is called the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA).  It is specific to Cambridge.

  • For applicants for 2023 entry, the deadline for registering for this assessment is Friday 30 September 2022.  See here for information about how to register.

  • Applicants will sit the NSAA on Wednesday 19 October 2022.

  • Further details about the written assessment can be found on the University website here.

  • Applicants who do not register for or sit the NSAA will be rejected.

Written work 

Applicants are not typically asked to submit examples of written work.

For more information: