BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences
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We live in a society that depends on science, but how many of us really understand the science behind the important issues that feature in the news? Whether you are keen to study a specific area of science or are not yet sure whether your interest lies – say – in physics or biology, then this degree is for you. It starts with a wide-ranging introduction to highly topical areas of modern science, and then offers the chance to specialise as you develop your interests. Pathways include biology; chemistry; Earth sciences; environmental sciences; physics; and astronomy and planetary science. Flexible, accessible study arrangements mean you can do all the practical work near where you live or online in your own home, but taking part in laboratory and field work at specific locations may be an option for some pathways.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.
With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.
You can use a degree to:
change careers or progress your current career gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in gain professional recognition go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree.
If you want to make sure you are prepared for studying science at this level, visit our diagnostic quiz materials
Are You Ready For Science?. The materials will help you decide whether the recommended starting point for the degree is right for you, whether you need to do any preparatory study and, if you do, will point you in the right direction.
If you are considering a study pathway which includes a Level 1 mathematics module, visit our
MathsChoices website for advice on how to revise and refresh your mathematical knowledge.
Career relevance and employability
By the time you achieve your qualification, you’ll be an adaptable graduate with a range of transferable skills that are highly valued in the labour market – such as analytical, numerical and communication skills, teamworking, problem solving and proficiency in using computers. You’ll also have a good understanding of where your strengths and interests lie, and be well prepared for your next step – whether it’s further study or employment.
Science graduates are well placed to enter both scientific and non-scientific jobs. The logical, reasoned approach needed for science study is relevant to a wide range of financial, business and public sector employment, so science graduates – particularly those who have good communication and interpersonal skills – are in demand. Employers also look for evidence of experience of the workplace to support the skills gained through the degree. To succeed, graduates will need to be flexible and multi-skilled, with the ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
You can choose from a number of different pathways that allow you maximum freedom of choice in your module selection or the opportunity to develop your interest in a particular aspect of science by selecting core modules in those areas.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Classification of your degree
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Natural Sciences degree. Your honours degree will be classified as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours.
The class of degree is determined by the best grades you achieve in 240 credits from modules above Level 1. These 240 credits must include all the compulsory Level 2 and Level 3 requirements of the qualification as specified, and must include at least 120 credits from specified Natural Sciences modules at Level 3.
You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.