Natural Sciences 2023/24


Maths student UG 2022 3

Mathematics is the language of science. It underpins much of modern life and technology – from the Internet to weather prediction. Tools from mathematics can turn subjects such as biology and ecology into more predictive sciences. Natural Scientists at Leeds can choose modules from pure and applied mathematics and statistics.

Combinations available:

  • mathematics, biology, biochemistry;
  • mathematics, biology, chemistry;
  • mathematics, biology, environmental science;
  • mathematics, biology, food science and nutrition;
  • mathematics, biology, physics;
  • mathematics, biochemistry, chemistry;
  • mathematics, biochemistry, environmental science;
  • mathematics, biochemistry, food science and nutrition;
  • mathematics, biochemistry, physics;
  • mathematics, chemistry, environmental science;
  • mathematics, chemistry, food science and nutrition;
  • mathematics, chemistry, physics;
  • mathematics, environmental science, physics;
  • mathematics, food science and nutrition, physics.

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Student Oliver Bramley tells us about his experience studying Natural Sciences at the University of Leeds. He did Mathematics, Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Examples in science

Mathematics, physics, biochemistry or biology


Application of methods from physics in the life sciences has revolutionised our understanding of how biological systems work. Thanks to these high level physics concepts we can look at processes such as the folding up of proteins one molecule at a time or understand the tiny changes in energy that occur when molecules interact. At the same time theoretical modelling methods let us simulate complex biological systems to understand them in ever greater detail.

Mathematics, biochemistry, biology

Mathematical biology

Biology is hugely diverse and complex – combinations of high level mathematics and biology let us understand these systems in unprecedented detail. From the diversity of genes to evolution and population dynamics your mathematical knowledge will help you develop new insights into these key processes.


The human genome contains about six billion base pairs of DNA. What is the function of the products of these genes and what does the rest of the DNA outside the genes do? These questions require us to be able to handle huge quantities of data, looking for small but significant differences. By combining advanced mathematical methods, statistical analysis and biological insight bioinformaticians are slowly revealing the subtle control mechanisms buried in the heart of our DNA.

Mathematics, chemistry, physics

Materials science and nanotechnology

New materials with reactive and dynamic properties influence everything, from new electronics to self-repairing polymers and new materials for biomedical applications. To control the global properties of materials correctly, you need to understand how they work at the smallest scale. By combining your knowledge of physics, chemistry and maths, you will gain new insights into the nanoscale world.

Mathematics, chemistry, environmental science

Science of the atmosphere

The science of the atmosphere controls our everyday lives to such a huge extent that we need to understand the reactions that take place in the atmosphere as well as how species in the atmosphere move and interact. Atmospheric scientists also study other worlds, designing models and experiments to study the atmospheres on extra-terrestrial planets and their moons. 

Mathematics, physics, food science

Soft matter and food formulation

Complex, multiphase fluids and soft solids are highly structured forms of matter that exhibit unusual and interesting self-organising behaviours; examples include foams, emulsions, gels and liquid crystals. They have wide ranging applications including drug formulation, medical devices, soft electronics and food formulation. Understanding and predicting the properties of soft matter requires the application of fundamental concepts in applied mathematics and physics such as fluid dynamics and statistical mechanics. This, for example, can be used to optimise formulation and processing of foods to enhance their texture and mouthfeel, providing consumers with a more enjoyable gastronomic experience.