HKU-Cambridge Undergraduate Recruitment Scheme (Natural Sciences) Cambridge-track for selected Young Scientist Scheme participants in natural sciences disciplines  

The Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the University of Cambridge (Cambridge) have formalised an academic collaboration to offer a joint recruitment scheme for talented students admitted to the Young Scientist Scheme in 6901 Bachelor of Science Programme, enabling them to earn up to 4 degrees in natural sciences in 4-5 years starting in fall 2020 – a BSc (2 years) from HKU, a BA (2 years), an MSci (1 year) from Cambridge, as well as an MA conferred by Cambridge upon application#. Selected students who opt to pursue undergraduate studies will only be conferred a BSc (2 years plus) from HKU, a BA (2 years) from Cambridge and an MA conferred by Cambridge# upon successful completion of their studies. As the new enhancement of YSS, this initiative opens a new path for elite participants to develop their global vision in both Asia and Europe. (Remarks: # The MA is conferred by right on holders of the BA degree at Cambridge, upon application after certain years’ seniority as members of Cambridge.)

Designed for selected exceptional YSS participants in the 6901 BSc programme, the Cambridge-track allows the two renowned universities to offer the best of their strengths to nurture the next generation of science professionals, cultivating their independent thinking skills for life. Selected students will also have a chance to experience the unique culture and learning environment of Cambridge, expand their horizons, build their own global network, and equip themselves with competencies at workplace.

The features of the Cambridge-track are appended below:

  • Allows selected participants in YSS of the 6901 BSc programme to pursue studies in two renowned universities
  • Allows students to study abroad and experience life and culture overseas
  • Nurtures future science professionals to develop innovative solutions for global challenges
  • Provides ample learning opportunities to YSS students:

– Summer Research Fellowship
– Overseas Research Fellowship
– International scientific conference
– Guidance by research mentor

The Natural Sciences courses at Cambridge provide students with experience in a range of different scientific disciplines that will enable them to appreciate and connect the intertwining science disciplines. The flexibility of the Natural Sciences course will not only give them a broad scientific background and an in-depth knowledge of the subject in which they finally specialise, but will also enable them to acquire a wide variety of all important transferable skills that are so much in demand by employers in all sectors, for example, intellectual skills, communication and presentation skills, and organisational, interpersonal as well as research skills, etc.

As an alumnus of Cambridge, Dean of HKU Science Professor Matthew R Evans, welcomes the collaboration with this distinguished partner institution. “The academic rigour of Cambridge makes it a benchmark university across the globe – its encouragement of academic debate and intensive essay-writing training helps stimulate critical and logical thinking of students. Embraced by the intellectual atmosphere and exposed to an environment that encourages open discussion, students will find themselves more comfortable to take new challenges. Studying at these two leading universities would definitely be a once-of-a-lifetime experience for students,” said Professor Evans. “This collaboration also signifies our mutual commitment to further strengthen the institutional ties between HKU and Cambridge,” he added.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Planning of University of Cambridge Professor David Cardwell also welcomed the launch of the scheme. “Hoefully it will develop an unique collaboration between Cambridge and HKU further. I look forward to many successful years of continued participating in the scheme,” he remarked.

Cambridge has been placed top in many World University Rankings in the past decades (#2 in Times Higher Education in 2019). Science in Cambridge is also regarded as one of the strongest in the world:
#2 ( #2 (Life Sciences, THE, 2019)
#5 (Physical Sciences, THE, 2019)
#3 (Life Sciences and Medicine, QS, 2019)
#4 (Natural Sciences, QS, 2019)
#3 (Chemistry, QS, 2019)
#4 (Physics and Astronomy, QS, 2019)
#4 (Earth and Marine Sciences, QS, 2019)

Image can be downloaded at

1. Available for students in the 6901 BSc Programme majoring in:
– Biochemistry
– Biological Sciences
– Chemistry
– Earth System Science
– Ecology & Biodiversity
– Environmental Science
– Geology
– Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
– Physics

2.Specialisation for a Natural Sciences undergraduate degree at Cambridge:
– Astrophysics
– Biochemistry
– Chemistry
– Earth Sciences
– Genetics
– Materials Science
– Pathology
– Physics
– Physiology, Development & Neuroscience
– Plant Sciences
– Zoology
Or a broad Science programme:
– Biological & Biomedical Sciences
– Physical Sciences

3.Specialisation for a Natural Sciences master’s degree at Cambridge:
– Astrophysics
– Biochemistry
– Chemistry
– Earth Sciences
– History and Philosophy of Science
– Materials Science
– Physics
– Systems Biology

How to Enroll in the Cambridge-track

Requirements for JUPAS students:
JUPAS Band A applicants of 6901 BSc Programme will be invited to indicate their interest in the Cambridge-track by January 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a selection interview in May 2020.

Extended Modules 1 or 2 in Mathematics (M1/M2), and level 5 or above in English are required. Students who perform well in the interview and achieve a HKDSE score of 35 or above in their best 5 HKDSE subjects (Category A subjects, M1/M2 must be included) # will be placed on the track.

#The HKDSE ‘level to score’ conversion table

Category A Core and Elective Subjects and Extended Module 1 or Module 2 of Mathematics
Level 5** 5* 5 4 3 2 1
Score 8.5 7 5.5 4 3 2 1

Requirements for Non-JUPAS students:
Non-JUPAS applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Higher level Mathematics is required for IB students. For GCEAL students, Mathematics and Further Mathematics are required. Excellent results in Mathematics are required for students with other qualifications. Selected applicants will be invited to enroll in YSS/Cambridge-track. No application is necessary.

Admissions of Students on the Track to Cambridge
Students on the Track will be assessed by Cambridge academics in their first semester of study through admissions test and interview. Skills on critical thinking, deep and sound science knowledge and good presentation skills are expected from the applicants.

After the interview, students selected will be given a conditional offer. They will study a broad range of Science courses in Year 1 and Year 2, to best equip themselves for their studies at Cambridge. Upon satisfying the requirements as stipulated in the conditional offer letter by the end of the student’s second year of studies, he or she will be given a firm offer to study at Cambridge.

As the Cambridge-track is a competitive scheme for high calibre students with excellent academic credentials, it is expected that the number of students selected for each cohort will not normally exceed 60% of the YSS population.

Students will pay HKU fees and Cambridge fees for their study at HKU and Cambridge, respectively.

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