The University of Cambridge, and Christ’s College provide exhaustive information about the Natural Sciences course’s unusual features and benefits. This page is intended to be light-hearted, informal advice from Christ’s students.
The course starts out broader than pretty much anything in the UK, and you can either keep it that way, or completely specialise. Christ’s (unlike some colleges) puts no pressure on any student to pursue a particular combination of subjects in any year – although extensive advice is available to help you make sensible decisions. This means almost every Christ’s student has studied in a unique combination of fields, and so we approach science from different perspectives. Biologists will notice that Cambridge uniquely(?) thrusts a maths course upon you in first year – this really is nothing to panic about: Christ’s gives great support and it doesn’t count at graduation anyway – but it can be a valued opportunity.
Christ’s NatSci contingent makes up an uncommonly large proportion of each year: Approx. 30 freshers and expanding. Hence you’ll have a robust network of friends to help you through the course. Christ’s can also keep a larger proportion of its supervisions ‘in house’ and has a large number of excellent academics from decades of successful tutoring to call upon to take these. You’ll also find the number of supervisions, but consequently the workload, may be greater at Christ’s. Unsurprisingly, this leaves Christ’s with one of the best academic reputations among scientists. (However, my personal belief is that the college you attend ultimately has very little impact on your individual academic success.)
The science fellows at Christ’s are extremely friendly, supportive and engaged with their undergraduates. They will usually schedule any extra help you need. Thanks to fellow’s donations, The Darwin Society is also able to throw annual dinners and garden parties. Blowing our own trumpet further, the society also puts on diverse talks (see our events page), which other colleges do to a greater or lesser extent. Since there are so many of you, we are the best placed to arrange dinners, drinks etc. with other colleges’ science societies.
On that theme, I think we’d unanimously agree that the reason why Christ’s is the best place to study Natural Sciences is the other students! To be fair Christ’s attracts the friendliest, most engaging people to all its courses, but NatScis are at the heart of college social life.