The Natural Science course at the University of Leicester is a research-led course and that’s true for all of the years on the course. However, the fourth year has some significant differences when compared to previous years. Before I get into that let me briefly explain the difference between degree options Natural Science offers.
- There’s the standard BSc (Bachelor of Science) which is completed after three years with an independent research project in the third year.
- There’s the BSc with a foundation year in which a preparatory foundation year is completed prior progressing onto the standard BSc. Total years to complete – 4.
- Next there is the BSc with a year abroad where in between your second and third years you have the option to study at one of the universities partnered to the Natural Science course (the partnered universities are in locations around the world such as: Paris, Canada and Tokyo). Total years to complete – 4.
- Finally there is the MSci course (Masters of Science) which I am currently on*. The MSci is completed after four years; the first three years are exactly the same as the BSc and in the additional fourth year you complete another research project as well other compulsory modules.
*So when I refer to the fourth year in Nat-Sci I am referring specifically to the fourth year of the MSci course.
At the time I joined the MSci course the main benefit I found was that Student Finance (SF) offered support for that additional year because I was/am still an undergraduate; meaning that I didn’t have to look for funding or apply for a loan. I could simply fill out the usual SF form and continue studying. Recently there have been some changes to support students get while at university and masters funding is being put in place but regardless I’d still prefer the undergraduate masters.