Branches of Science

Branches of Science

To get your mind around the unending list of branches of science is an astronomical task in itself, let alone becoming familiar with the underlying concepts and learning it. For those who are aspiring for establishing a career in the Science stream or going back and forth between the dilemma of Science vs Commerce, it is important to understand the several meticulously distributed sub-disciplines within Science before choosing one and working towards mastering it. Whether it concerns the fundamental cornerstones of Physics, Chemistry, Biology or more advanced fields like Neurobiology, Biochemistry, or Electromagnetics, each one of them encompasses its own set of elements and standards. This article focuses on delineating the various branches of science as well as the wide range of specialisations they are comprised of.

Three Major Branches of Science

Modern scientific study is carefully divided into three major disciplines, namely Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Earth sciences which are also the key elements of the all-encompassing realm of Natural Sciences. However, Earth Sciences is often included within Physical Sciences. While Biology, Physics, and Chemistry [BiPC Subjects] have long been considered the fundamental components of the vast stream of Science, the need to merge the three branches of Science in order to integrate the rapidly growing research and exploration is needed.

Branches of Science and Their Sub-Fields

Physical SciencesLife SciencesEarth Sciences
Inorganic Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry
Earth Sciences*
Marine Biology
Cell Biology
Atmospheric Sciences
Structural Geology

*Earth Sciences has been included in physical sciences but has been individually as well for the useful presentation.

Overlapping Disciplines

Overlapping Disciplines of Science

Physical Sciences

Concerning the study of the inorganic aspects of our world, Physical Sciences encompass fields of Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences. Considered amongst the major branches of Science, it includes essential concepts like Heat, Magnetics, Acoustics, Optics, Energy, Analytical Chemistry, amongst others. While it is difficult to draw a line between Physics and Chemistry, the distinctive feature that sets them apart is that Physics involves studying matter on a subatomic level and Chemistry involves studying properties of different materials and elements and how they interact with each other.

Sub-fields of Physical Science
Planetary ScienceAstrophysics
OceanographyPolymer Science
Courses Offered in Physical Sciences
  • BSc/MSc Physics
  • BSc/MSc Chemistry
  • MSc Space Sciences
  • MSc Particle Physics
  • MSc Nuclear Physics
  • MSc Astrophysics etc.

Life Sciences

More comprehensive than Biology, Life Sciences is concerned with the study of all life forms, namely aquatic, land, and air at the microscopic level. It not only covers branches of Biology but also touches cross-disciplinary topics such as Biophysics and Biochemistry amongst others. Regarded in the list of those branches of Science that study the living matter, Physical Sciences include concepts like genetic makeup of living organisms, nerve structure, anatomy, ecology and evolution as well as Agriculture, Behavioural Sciences, Toxicology, Parasitology and Virology amongst others. The courses are immensely rigorous and intensive involving heavy amounts of learning and research.

Sub-fields in Life Science
TaxonomyMarine Biology

Earth Sciences

The study of the earth, air and water or more specifically, the geologic, hydrologic or atmospheric sciences are all included under Earth Sciences. Concerned with those branches of Science that examine the birth and evolution of the Earth, this area of study focuses on the development of the physical environment. It includes numerous concepts such as dating of rocks and minerals, the types of rocks, analysis of landforms, fossils, amongst others. Moreover, Applied Earth Sciences field works towards finding out effective applications of Earth Science concepts for the environment.

Courses Offered in Earth Sciences

Other Branches of Science

Given below are some of the other cross-disciplinary branches of Science that have sprouted over the years.

Branches of ScienceConcerned With
AgronomyCrop plants
AnthropologyHuman past, behaviours, and cultures
AeronauticsAirplanes and flights
AstronomyCelestial Objects
AstrophysicsUnderstanding the working of the universe
BiotechnologyCreating/developing products using microorganisms
CytologyCell study
EngineeringScientific principles and their applications
ExobiologyExtraterrestrial life 
Forensic ScienceApplication of Science in legal process/criminal investigations
Materials ScienceStudy of properties of solid materials
MycologyStudy on Fungi
OrnithologyStudy of birds
PsychologyUnderstanding human mind and behaviour
PetrologyRocks, origin, and characteristics
RadiologyDiagnosing and treating various diseases
ToxicologyChemical components and their effects on living organisms
VirologyStudy of Virus

Note: Many specialised branches of Science may traverse multiple disciplines. 

Hence, once you know the diverse branches of Science you can start sorting out the ones where your interests lie and then you find an ideal course and university to pursue your chosen field. The AI tool at Leverage Edu can help you during this phase by mapping out your interests and suggesting you tailor-made combinations. This way you can take that first informed step towards a rewarding career.

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