Natural Sciences

MSci in Biology and Physics within the Natural Sciences programme (FGC0): 2023-2024

Entry requirements: See the Essentials

The current course structure is shown in the table below that consists of modules which must be studied in the appropriate year - click on the module code for the current module content. After Year 1, students focus solely on studying Biology and Physics. If students don't wish to take a particular module or include a third subject then it may be possible take up the option of the more flexible "MSci in Natural Sciences degree. The subjects in which modules have been taken successfully in the final two years are as follows: Biology and Physics". As the rules below permit, students may take up to 80 credits in one subject and no less than 40 credits in the other subject and always take precisely 120 credits in one year. UCAS applicants are invited to use the app to discover the key modules to self-build a degree

Year 1
Biology40 credits: Genetics (BIOL1171), Molecules And Cells (BIOL1281)
Physics80 credits: Foundations Of Physics 1 (PHYS1122) and ((Calculus I (MATH1061) and Linear Algebra I (MATH1071)) or (Single Mathematics A (MATH1561) and Single Mathematics B (MATH1571)))
Year 2
Biology60 credits: Molecular Biology (BIOL2441), Development (BIOL2471), Cell Biology (BIOL2481)
Physics60 credits: Discovery Skills In Physics (PHYS1101), Foundations Of Physics 2A (PHYS2581), Mathematical Methods In Physics (PHYS2611)
Year 3
Biology60 credits: Advanced Cell Biology (BIOL3481), Advanced Topics In Development (BIOL3521) and 20 credits from the Level 3 Biology list
Physics60 credits: Foundations Of Physics 2B (PHYS2591), Foundations Of Physics 3A (PHYS3621), Laboratory Skills And Electronics 3 (PHYS3681)
Year 4
Biology40 credits: (Workshop Mbiol (BIOL4111) and Biophysical Research Project (s) (BIOL4071)) or (Workshop Mbiol (BIOL4111) and Biophysical Research Project (t) (BIOL4063))
Physics40 credits: (Project (PHYS4213) and Foundations Of Physics 4B (PHYS4261)) or (Foundations Of Physics 4B (PHYS4261) and a further 20 credits from the Level 4 Physics list)
Students must take a Dissertation/Project module in Year 4 from the following list:
Project modules40 credit Biochemistry Research Project (BIOL4022); 60 credit Biophysical Research Project (T) (BIOL4063); 60 credit Project (PHYS4213);
Further details about the modules in the Biology list.
Further details about the modules in the Physics list.

Below is an example of modules that are timetabled to satisfy these rules except in Year 4 where the set may not satisfy the rules above to increase flexibility of choice of modules. Click on the single digit numbered link on the left to see a sample timetable and the module code to see details about the module such as content, contact hours, teaching methods and assessment methods.

1Genetics (BIOL1171)Molecules And Cells (BIOL1281)Calculus I (MATH1061)Linear Algebra I (MATH1071)Foundations Of Physics 1 (PHYS1122)      
1Genetics (BIOL1171)Molecules And Cells (BIOL1281)Single Mathematics A (MATH1561)Single Mathematics B (MATH1571)Foundations Of Physics 1 (PHYS1122)      
2Molecular Biology (BIOL2441)Development (BIOL2471)Cell Biology (BIOL2481)Foundations Of Physics 2A (PHYS2581)Mathematical Methods In Physics (PHYS2611)Discovery Skills In Physics (PHYS1101)     
3Advanced Cell Biology (BIOL3481)Advanced Topics In Development (BIOL3521)Crops For The Future (BIOL3611)Foundations Of Physics 2B (PHYS2591)Laboratory Skills And Electronics 3 (PHYS3681)Foundations Of Physics 3A (PHYS3621)     
4Biophysical Research Project (s) (BIOL4071)Workshop Mbiol (BIOL4111)Project (PHYS4213)Foundations Of Physics 4B (PHYS4261)       
4Biophysical Research Project (t) (BIOL4063)Workshop Mbiol (BIOL4111)Condensed Matter Physics 4 (PHYS4271)Foundations Of Physics 4B (PHYS4261)       

Note that:

  • You can vary the balance between the two subjects in all years assuming the rules below and timetable will allow it.

  • Not all combinations of the modules which make up the degree rules are guaranteed to timetable, but one set will.
  • If no student is following the Joint-Honours degree in a given year, then we do not ask for modules to be timetabled for that cohort in the following year.
  • The timetable changes each year.
  • Future changes in the Joint-Honours rules are either flagged up in the programme regulations in the Faculty Handbook or in the Biology/Physics advice.
  • Students are welcome to suggest to the Director better guaranteed combinations, but due to the quality assurance process and timetabling the lead in time is one year.

For more information about the Natural Sciences degree programme, please contact:

Dr. James Blowey
Deputy Head of Faculty
Faculty of Science Office
Level 3 Chemistry Building
Durham University

Email: Natural Sciences Director

WWW: Natural Sciences home page

The Natural Sciences web pages are maintained by James Blowey