Open Search


From oceans to outer space: discovering the world through science

When you think of ‘science’, what do you think of? Chemicals in test tubes? A telescope pointed to the stars? Equations on a chalkboard? A famous scientist like Marie Curie or Albert Einstein?

It might be some of these images, or many others that come to mind. Science is a vast, multi-faceted subject that sets out to find out about everything that exists in our universe, from distant galaxies and ocean depths, to microscopic organisms and physical forces.

Over hundreds of years of scientific study, the body of knowledge and different fields of study have evolved into branches of science — specialisms around different aspects of the universe.

Science Lab

Types of Science

Four branches of science

At high school, there are four branches of science that you might study.



PhysicsPhysics is one of the physical sciences that looks at materials and forces that aren’t organic or alive. Physics helps you understand motion, energy, electricity and magnetism, and laws that govern the physical universe.




Everything in the natural world begins with a chemical reaction. Chemistry helps you understand how these reactions work, by studying chemical substances, how they change, and the laws that describe these changes.




Biology is a broad natural science that studies living things. Reflecting the sheer complexity of life, biology has many different fields, from biochemistry and its study of atoms and molecules, to ecology and its study of the planet’s millions of organisms.




Geography is an earth science that studies all the different environments, habitats and features of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, and how each of these interact.

Why study science?

When you study science, you study the world. So if you want to keep learning about life and discovering new things, a career in science may be for you.

Science looks at how things work today, how they worked in the past, and how they might work in the future. Science constantly refines and expands our knowledge of the world, always raising new questions for future study.

Within the sciences you can study at high school (physics, chemistry, biology and geography), there are many sub-branches of science to explore. This means that science can satisfy lots of different interests you might have, as well as developing a powerful set of skills.


What are science skills and how are they useful?

In every branch of science you study, there are key skills you’ll learn, develop and be able to transfer across many different types of work.

Transferable Skills

What are science skills and how are they useful?

observing icon


The first and most important skill in science is observation. By using different senses to accurately describe aspects of the world, this skill helps you to identify details, build evidence and explain how things work.

classifying icon


Classification is being able to separate and sort objects based on what you’ve observed. It’s a skill that builds your vocabulary and expands different ways to understand and explain the world.

measuring icon


Another key skill across all science is measurement, which is vital to how you collect, compare, 
and understand data — and share your findings
with others.

predicting icon


Science teaches you how to predict and explain things happening in the world by making 
links between what you observe and what we already know. 

communicating icon


To do successful science, it’s important to be able to share your results and explanations. Science studies can help you to develop clear and effective ways to communicate with different people.

creativity icon


You might not have thought of science as creative, but many scientific breakthroughs and discoveries are a result of creative or playful thinking — helping you to explore different and unusual approaches to solving problems.

What careers can you explore through science?

If you want to work in a job that’s varied and rewarding, and that keeps you challenged, a career in science is an excellent option. Jobs in science exist across an enormous number of different fields — there are just too many to count (or list here).

  • Natural sciences
    If you’re interested in jobs related to the physical world and universe around us, natural sciences include jobs in chemistry, physics, astronomy, oceanography, atmospheric science and geology.
  • Biological sciences
    Biological sciences are linked to living ‘things’, including jobs in biology, ecology, immunology, neuroscience, medicine and conservation, as well as biotechnology, agriculture, human healthcare, wildlife and environmental protection, biofuels and pharmaceuticals.

If you care about animal healthcare and wellbeing, you can go on to study veterinary science, a branch of medicine that includes the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases in animals.

Within each of these areas of science, there’s a huge array of jobs you can consider, from forensic chemistry and wildlife biology to volcanology and oceanography, and much more. With science, the world really is yours.