Natural Sciences (cont.) Year 2 (Part IB) In Part IB, you choose three of the following subjects. Some build directly on Part IA subjects and some introduce what are essentially new areas. For most subjects you can typically expect to have three lectures, some practical work and a supervision each week. For timetabling reasons not all combinations are possible. Animal Biology • Explore the evolution and diversity of animals, and look at how their form, function and behaviour are adapted to their lifestyle and their environment. • Comprises sections on Behaviour and Ecology, Brains and Behaviour, Insect Biology, Vertebrate Evolutionary Biology, and Evolutionary Principles. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology • This option studies biological processes at the molecular and cellular level, building on Part IA Biology of Cells. • Topics explored include gene structure and expression, enzyme catalysis, protein engineering, and control of cell growth and differentiation. • Practicals teach important skills that are developed in subsequent years. Cell and Developmental Biology • The subject consolidates and extends your knowledge of how cells work and interact. • It covers sub-cellular structure and function, signalling both within and between cells, and the development of multicellular tissues and organisms. Chemistry A • Chemistry A focuses on the theories used to understand chemical bonding, structures and reactivity. • You’re introduced to quantum mechanics and shown how this and related theories can be used to make sense of many chemical and physical properties. Chemistry B Chemistry B focuses on three main topics: • organic (carbon-based) chemistry, which forms the basis of molecules as diverse as pharmaceuticals and synthetic polymers • the enormous range of compounds and structures formed by other elements (inorganic chemistry) • the chemical processes which are the basis of life Earth Sciences A • This option covers the surface environments of the Earth – the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere – together with their geological products. • It encompasses sedimentology, palaeobiology, oceanography, tectonics and sedimentary basins. • There’s a field course in Southwest England in the Easter vacation.
Earth Sciences B • Earth Sciences B deals with our planet’s formation and examines the chemical and physical processes in its interior. You learn about minerals and how they crystallise and grow under different conditions, and the role of plate tectonics in igneous and metamorphic rock formation and its influence on surface volcanism. • You have laboratory work and a field course in Southwest England during the Easter vacation. Ecology • Ecology explores the relationships between plants, animals and their environment. • It covers marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems; human impact on climate change and aerial pollution; ecological genetics and ecological dynamics; and the world’s biodiversity, its origin and conservation. Experimental Psychology • Experimental Psychology is the study of the mind, brain and behaviour through experimental and observational methods. • Teaching is supported by practical classes. • Topics covered include sensory processes and perception, learning, reasoning, cognitive and social development, psychopathology, social psychology, and intelligence. History and Philosophy of Science • This option explores the historical, philosophical and social dimensions of the sciences. • Topics covered extend from early astronomy and alchemy to the discovery of DNA and climate change. • We examine what is so special about science and what is the role of social and historical context in the production of knowledge. Materials Science • Materials Science looks at advances in materials and their chemical, electrical and mechanical properties, ranging from metals to polymers. • You study how materials function in service, and the scientific principles of functional materials, such as semiconductors. Mathematics • Mathematics incorporates topics including group theory, more advanced matrix theory, Cartesian tensors, more advanced theory of differential equations, Fourier transforms, calculus of variations, and functions of a complex variable. • Some topics involve continually-assessed practical work, using computers to illustrate and exploit numerical techniques. Neurobiology • Neurobiology covers the development, function, and plasticity of the nervous system. • You explore the different sensory systems, the motor system, and higher functions of the nervous system (including motivation, emotion, language and memory).