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Natural Sciences BSc / MSci

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Major-minor combined, Single Honours, Study abroad year

Annual tuition fees for 2023/24:
£9,250 (UK)
£21,000 (International)
More detail.

Our prestigious Natural Sciences course is designed for talented students who want to study a variety of sciences at degree level.

Each student creates their own unique programme which combines arts and/or sciences and/or social sciences. You will typically centre your undergraduate studies around one subject, your Major, which will serve as your specialism. This is then complemented with a variety of different subjects to give you an original portfolio of expertise. To see our flexibility, you can view examples of real examples of student pathways. As you can see, every programme is unique to the student.

You will also have the option to decide whether to graduate with a BA, BSc, MArt, MSci or Natural Sciences qualification, all through the same UCAS application (Liberal Arts and Sciences), subject to your portfolio of modules. 

Applications should be made to our Liberal Arts and Sciences course. 

Society for Natural Sciences accredited degreeAs a Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences student, you will be part of a vibrant and diverse community that welcomes and celebrates differences.  There are many opportunities to help shape the School, such as participating in student-leadership groups, our themed Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences community meetings, and our curriculum development group.  You can also get involved by taking a role in the thriving Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Society, or one of the Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences official student-ambassador positions (current roles include Media and Communications, and Equality and Diversity).  


The undergraduate programme facilitates the study of a broad range of disciplines across many departments. We are also brought together through our core module to share interdisciplinary connections between our subjects to help combat contemporary social issues.


Why study this course?

  • Create your own degree - Liberal Arts and Sciences is a uniquely flexible degree course which allows students to combine arts and/or sciences and/or social sciences. View these examples of real student programmes
  • Outstanding student experience - We offer undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake exciting trips across Europe. Recent study trips have taken our students to the Lake District, Brussels, Romania and Rome. Our Summer School focusing on interdisciplinary themes brings students together for intensive learning. In 2019 it took place in Reims.
  • The third year - Our exciting four-year degree programmes offer a rich extra-curricular experience to make you stand out in a competitive graduate market. You could broaden your global potential through our Year Abroad studying at one of a choice of over 250 institutions. Or carry out a project-based placement with a community organisation closer to home for our new Year in Civic Leadership option. Another option is our Year in Computer Science that allows students from non-computing disciplines to gain in-depth knowledge of computing and to enhance work-based skills.
  • Cultural Programme - We also have a well-established Cultural Programme, which brings poets, writers, academics and scientific specialists to speak to you on campus, whilst also taking you on trips beyond the University to theatres and exhibitions. 


Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2023. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Compulsory modules

Year 1

Year 2

Year 4

During Year 4, you will undertake an independent research project in your Major and/or an interdisciplinary project in Liberal Arts and Sciences and/or our entrepreneurial modules. This will total 40 credits. Read more.

Major modules

There are a broad range of Majors that can be explored in depth across the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences. Explore the range of options and possible Majors.

Breadth modules

Breadth modules offer you the opportunity to understand subjects outside of your Major. They will enable you to understand the ways that specialists in other fields think and work. It will enable you to become a flexible, interdisciplinary thinker with the ability to understand a range of challenges in the Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences.

To show the variety of modules taken by our students, you can view these examples of real student programmes. Compulsory modules are shown in green, Major modules are shown in orange, and breadth modules are purple.


For UK students beginning their studies in September 2023, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2023/24 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £21,000

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

If you would like to follow the Natural Sciences route, applications must be made through our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme. 

The admissions process

  • We are accepting applications for 2021 entry through UCAS Extra.
  • University of Birmingham UCAS code (for UK applicants): B32
  • Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences UCAS code (for UK applicants): Y001
  • If your predicted grades meet our entry requirements, you will be invited to write an admissions essay after submitting your UCAS application.
  • You should submit the admissions essay within four weeks of the invitation.
  • Although we evaluate the essays within a week of receiving them, they are processed through the Admissions Office, who are responsible for the entire university.  At the peak of applications, this may take a further 15 working days for Home applications and 5 working days for Overseas applications.
  • Successful applicants will then be invited to our Offer-Holder Visitor Days in February-April 2021.

What we look for in a personal statement

What we look for

The personal statement is our opportunity to learn about who you are.  Typically, well-written personal statements focus on the applicant’s all-rounded education: not only the breadth of the subjects they’re currently studying, but interests and achievements outside of school.  Excellent personal statements also explain what the applicant has learned from these experiences.

What we don’t look for

We aren’t looking for specific interests or achievements because we prefer to see diversity of experience and perspectives among our cohort, and therefore welcome differences of approach.  We also don’t expect you to tell us what you intend to study because we don’t expect you to know this (and your preferences might change during your degree).

Pathways to Birmingham

There are a number of pathways to Birmingham.  Please visit this page for further information.

The Admissions Essay

Liberal Arts and Sciences is a highly competitive and popular degree.  All applicants who meet our entry criteria will be asked to submit a 1,000-word admissions essay shortly after submitting their UCAS application. 

Successful applicants

You will be invited to an Offer-Holder Visitor event, which typically take place between February and April.

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet our academic staff, current students, and other offer-holders.  Our events usually include a taster lecture, activities, and plenty of opportunities to find out more about the programme.  

We will stay in touch with successful applicants over the summer, and you will have the opportunity to begin to plan your programme with your personal tutor before you begin your studies at the University.  At the start of your degree, you will participate in LANS’ Welcome Week, where you will have opportunities to meet LANS students and staff.

Learn more about applying.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:

Admissions essay: Applicants will be asked to complete an admissions essay shortly after submitting their UCAS application. 

IB Diploma: 32 points and admissions essay. Standard English language requirements apply.

Required subjects and grades: You do not require specific A-level subjects or IB higher level subjects to be accepted onto the course itself, but you may need specific subjects to study certain Majors after you enrol. For further details, please visit the Majors page. In some cases, a Major can be pursued without specific subjects provided you perform well in particular first year modules. 

Extended Project Qualification: If you get an A or A* in your EPQ, we may make a reduced offer of AAA. In line with the University of Birmingham’s policy, we can only make this reduced offer to applicants who put LANS as a Firm choice and who are not applying for deferred entry.

Irish leavers qualifications: H1 H2 H2 H2 H2, or H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

LANS and the University of Birmingham welcome international students to join our diverse community.

We know that coming to a new country can be daunting, which is why international applicants are assigned a LANS personal tutor at the start of the summer before they join us. Your personal tutor will be accessible to support you throughout the summer as you prepare for university and as you settle in.

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts.

Taught by academics who are finding innovative solutions to big issues, you will have access to the latest knowledge and thinking by studying at Birmingham.

We use a variety of approaches to help you learn during the course of your degree. Your teaching will involve a mixture of dedicated and innovative small group experiences with fellow Liberal Arts and Sciences students and studying alongside other students in your Major field or optional modules. Throughout the programme, you will move between different Schools and departments across the University, whilst retaining a home and core support network within the Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences team.

Depending on your Major area of concentration this may involve some, or all, of large and small lectures, small group seminars and/or laboratory work. You will interact closely with the core Liberal Arts and Sciences advisory staff and fellow students as part of both your core and extramural development.


From day one, we will help you to adjust to university life and studying at degree level. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including academic staff and welfare tutors who can help with both issues relating to your studies and your personal welfare. You will also undergo a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions to workshops on a range of topics including note taking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.

Contact hours

Contact time will vary depending on the modules you select and your level of study. In year one, the Liberal Arts and Sciences compulsory modules involve 2 hours per week, with your additional contact time dependent on your choice of subjects and portfolio of modules. Typically, students Majoring in the Arts and Social Sciences can expect around 10 hours a week, with the remaining time allocated to research, preparation, and assignments. If you are Majoring in the Sciences, formally timetabled work rises to about 30 hours per week.

As you progress through your studies, you are typically expected to undertake a higher level of independent guided study and your formally timetabled contact hours will adjust accordingly. Contact time for Liberal Arts and Sciences students is supported by the advice and guidance time scheduled with your personal tutor, and in your final year you receive individual supervision in support of your dissertation or independent research project.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - You will receive feedback on each assessment, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.


Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

Your third year is spent at one of our international partner institution

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year four

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

A Liberal Arts and Sciences degree will set you apart in a competitive job market.

Throughout the programme, our students develop skills in academic resilience, initiative, and intellectual independence. Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates have the ability to research and analyse complex information, work independently and as part of a team, and create compelling solutions to problems.

Supported by the University's Careers Network team, you will be encouraged to acquire and develop your skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Throughout the course of your degree, you will develop a range of abilities from communication to research, analysis to leadership which will equip you to succeed.

Explore our Employability Hub 

Many graduates find employment in areas far removed from their primary area of study at University – or are likely to change careers several times in their lives, sometimes engaging in a wider range of jobs with the same employer. Our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme recognises this phenomenon and is designed to meet the growing demand from leading employers in the UK and internationally, for a new breed of dynamic business, public service, and political leaders. 

"The multidisciplinary nature of the programme and the wide variety of opportunities it offers in terms of study abroad, internships, mentoring etc will develop graduates that are more well-rounded, robust and ultimately more employable. I believe that increased flexibility and later, more informed, subject specialisation will result in graduates who have a clearer vision of where they want to get to than students who have followed a more traditional UK single-subject disciplinary route" 
Dewan, CEO and Founding Partner, Hassium Asset Management LLP

Internationally, Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates progress to the legal professions, major consultancy and management firms, postgraduate study or graduate entry to medicine (subject to following an appropriate pathway during the programme). Other students will progress to graduate study, and this can be accelerated in selected cases by access to Masters levels modules in the final year.

Besides this, you'll benefit from unparalleled support. You will not only have the opportunity to learn from a Birmingham graduate through our alumni mentoring programme, but you'll have dedicated support for finding internships and making appropriate choices to become an influential graduate in your own right.

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