Physical Science, Mathematics and Computer Science

The curriculum for this course comprises academic input from four departments within the Faculty of Science, which encompasses the following subject areas: mathematics and statistics, physics and astronomy, chemistry and computer science. 

Subject content

  • Fuel cells and renewable energy technology.
  • Studying nanomaterials using electron microscopy.
  • How molecular structure influences fragrance in perfumes and cosmetics.
  • Computational chemistry.
  • Chemistry at atomic surfaces.
  • Synthesis of new compounds for catalysis.

Topic examples

  • Forensic statistics.
  • Building circuits and programming with Arduino.
  • Changing the biorefinery process, a solution for tomorrow’s world.
  • Fluid dynamics.
  • Cryptography: how safe are your secrets? 

Examples of laboratory sessions students might expect: 

  • Lasers and diffraction.
  • Astronomy. 
  • Preparation of biodiesel from vegetable oil.
  • Electronic bagpipes.
  • Isolation of pigments from leaves. 

These examples are a sample and are based on previous years. Topics may change based on the curriculum chosen by the department in any given year. 

Academic skills

Aside from the study of specific content, students will learn to improve their academic writing, learning to shape arguments and developing an academic writing style, whilst also improving their subject-specific vocabulary.  

Learning experience

Students will experience a mixture of lectures, seminars, group work and independent study on this course.  Lecture content is taught by academic staff and is underpinned by additional practical sessions in laboratories and on field trips, with experienced graduate students assisting. 

Additional information

The academic course is enhanced by field trips to sites of scientific interest, and cultural enrichment is provided through the general Academic Experience Courses, which includes an extensive programme of social and cultural activities, sports and much more. 

Course outcomes

Students will receive an official certificate from the University of St Andrews to confirm their successful completion of the course.