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The Department of Integrated Sciences

Features and Aims

The Department of Integrated Sciences facilitates students to achieve the following aims.
  • To become researchers who stay one step ahead of the current boundaries of science, who can freely traverse across multiple academic areas to integrate the natural sciences and develop new areas of research. Our students will become specialized, but also retain a wide range of knowledge across the natural sciences.
  • To acquire both a fundamental understanding of the mathematical, material, life, cognitive, and sports sciences, as well as specialized knowledge that encompasses multiple areas of study.
  • To become leaders well versed in the natural sciences across careers such as graduate research in specialist scientific or technological fields, science and technology policymaking, administrative positions in science education, scientific journalists, interpreters of sciences and technology, and other professions that link science and society.
The Department of Integrated Sciences offers a curriculum that has both breadth and depth. We integrate subjects from both the traditional biological, physical and chemical sciences that deal with the molecular units of atoms, molecules, genes or proteins, as well as subjects such as cognitive and behavioural sciences or sports sciences that take humans as the unit of study. These subjects, along with the deep mathematical structures that underlie them, are encompassed in our four courses of 'Mathematical Sciences', 'Matter and Material Sciences', 'Integrated Life Sciences' and 'Cognitive and Behaviour Sciences', as well as the 'Sports Sciences' subcourse. In addition, we have a strong and flexible partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, to allow our students to acquire knowledge across a wide range of disciplines.

Course Introductions

This section details the features and educational philosophy of each course or sub-course.

(a) Mathematical Sciences Course
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of a variety of mathematical concepts, and appreciate the mathematical structures that underlie a wide range of natural phenomena. Graduates of this course will be equipped with a high level of mathematical thinking and technical skills acquired through a comprehensive understanding of the natural sciences, which can then be utilised across various disciplines.

(b) Matter and Materials Sciences Course
integrate their understanding of the materials world, from a micro to a macro perspective. Graduates of this course will have knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics, as well as an understanding across all areas of material science, to become individuals who can create new areas of study without being limited by the current boundaries of science.

(c) Integrated Life Sciences Course
Students will study the order, structure, functions and laws that are present across every level of life, from molecules, cells, tissues, organs to the body, in order to become individuals who can push the frontiers of the life sciences.

(d) Cognitive and Behavior Sciences Course
Students will gain an integrated understanding of the features and developmental processes that underlie human cognitive functions and actions, from the perspectives of generation and adaptation.

(e) Sports Science Sub-course
Students will study physical activity from the scientific perspectives of mechanics, medicine, physiology, biochemistry, and psychology, and appreciate sports sciences as an applied science. In addition, this course promotes a comprehensive understanding of sports sciences from a practical science perspective by focusing on the origin of sports, the plasticity of the body, and the sustainability of the body when improving athletic performance.

Students will choose one of the four courses as their primary course, but may also select an additional course or the Sports Science Sub-course as a minor area of study. Students may earn credits from attending lectures by other departments, including the "Joint Programs," the "Sub-major Program" of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the "Sub-program" of the Department of Interdisciplinary Sciences.



Curriculum Structure

The Department of Integrated Sciences requires a minimum of 84 credits for graduation, obtained from Core Subjects, Specialized Subjects, and the Graduation Research.

Core Subjects

Offered mainly in the 4th semester, these subjects aim to provide students with literacy across all of the integrated sciences, and fundamental skills that serve as a basis for any subsequent field they choose. Students are given an introduction to all minor areas of study through introductory lectures and lectures focused on communication and presentation skills. A minimum of 10 credits must be chosen from the core subjects.

Specialized Subjects

Each Course contains specialized lectures as well as labs and small-class seminars that provide students with skills needed for a full understanding of the natural sciences. Students must take both subjects compulsory for their chosen course (32 credits), and optional subjects chosen based on their individual interests (32 credits). Of the latter, 16 credits must come from other courses, departments, or faculties from their major.

Graduation Research

Students are given the freedom to design their own methods and approach depending on their area of study. After completing the compulsory course requirements for different research themes, students may choose a lab regardless of their current course - for example, a student in the Matter and Materials Science Course may undertake their graduation research in a Life Sciences lab. Graduation research is worth 10 credits.

In addition to the above, if a student completes a minimum of 24 credits from any of the courses above (including the Sports Sciences sub-course), they will be awarded a minor subject alongside their major. This will be officially documented on the graduation transcript.

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