Studying a science option within the Natural Sciences Tripos provides an excellent opportunity to achieve a solid grounding in the core physical or biological sciences, as well as exploring new or different options that you may not have encountered at school. I have just finished my third year specialising in Materials Science at Jesus after studying Physics and Chemistry for the first two years. The ability to experience different options and tailor my direction of study especially appealed to me as I did not know what I wanted to specialise in at school - I actually applied to Cambridge as a Biological Scientist!
The course is taught through a combination of lectures, labs, and the small group supervision system - incredibly helpful for gaining a more solid understanding. You are surrounded by academics, many of whom are world experts in their field, and this really comes into its own when it comes to various coursework tasks and the individual research projects in the fourth year. For me, materials Science is the perfect combination of physics, chemistry and biology, coupled with an engineer's approach. The department sets a very high standard when it comes to teaching, and there is a great emphasis on developing a problem solving mind set and transferable skills. There are opportunities to do interesting research or engineering projects outside of the course, with the possibility of working abroad for the summer.
Every Cambridge student says that their college is the best, but I especially believe this to be the case for Jesus! College is hugely friendly and inclusive place, welcoming to people from all backgrounds. I have found the environment to be the perfect balance between laid back and hardworking, and you do receive a lot of academic support from your supervisors and tutors - they really do want to help you succeed! Jesus provides outstanding facilities for both student life and studying. There are almost endless opportunities for extracurricular activities at both a College and university level, with sport and music being represented especially well at Jesus. There is a wide range of societies, and events are often held within the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of the college buildings.