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.
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Three Branches of Science
Modern Science is mainly constituted of three main branches, i.e. Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Formal Sciences as these three areas peruse upon the nature of our world and the universe in the broadest way. Thus, the three main branches of Science are:
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Formal Sciences
Natural Sciences is the core of the branches of science as studies the nature of our physical world and the universe. The three branches of Natural Sciences are:
- Physics, the Study of Universe
- Chemistry, the Study of Matter
- Biology, the Study of Life and Living Organisms.
Apart from the natural sciences (elaborated more in the next section), the Modern Science also comprises Social Sciences and Formal Sciences.
Social Sciences study human societies from across the globe as well as the relationship of human beings with their social environment.
The major branches of Social Science are:
Formal Sciences is quite a unique area of study in Science as it uses formal systems to produce knowledge and explore the nature of different disciplines ranging from Mathematics, Logic to Computer Science and Information Technology. The most important branches of Formal Sciences are:
- Computer Science
- Data Science
- Systems Science
- Artificial Intelligence
- Information Technology, etc.
Branches of Natural 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 Sciences||Life Sciences||Earth Sciences|
*Earth Sciences has been included in physical sciences but has been individually as well for the useful presentation.
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
Courses Offered in Physical Sciences
- BSc/MSc Physics
- BSc/MSc Chemistry
- MSc Space Sciences
- MSc Particle Physics
- MSc Nuclear Physics
- MSc Astrophysics etc.
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
Popular Life Science Courses
- BSc Botany
- MSc Zoology
- BSc/MSc Anatomy
- BSc/MSc Molecular Biology
- BSc/MSc Genetics
- BSc/MSc Biotechnology
- MSc Bioinformatics
- MSc Biochemistry etc.
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
Interdisciplinary Branches of Science
Specialised Branches of Science
Given below are some of the other cross-disciplinary branches of Science that have sprouted over the years.
- Agronomy: Crop plants
- Anthropology: Human past, behaviours, and cultures
- Aeronautics: Airplanes and flights
- Astronomy: Celestial Objects
- Astrophysics: Understanding the working of the universe
- Biotechnology: Creating/developing products using microorganisms
- Cytology: Cell study
- Engineering: Scientific principles and their applications
- Exobiology: Extraterrestrial life
- Forensic Science: Application of Science in legal process/criminal investigations
- Materials Science: Study of properties of solid materials
- Mycology: Study on Fungi
- Ornithology: Study of birds
- Psychology: Understanding the human mind and behaviour
- Petrology: Rocks, origin, and characteristics
- Radiology: Diagnosing and treating various diseases
- Toxicology: Chemical components and their effects on living organisms
- Virology: Study of Virus
Note: Many specialised branches of Science may traverse multiple disciplines.
The 10 main branches of Science are as follows:
8. Earth Sciences
9. Environmental Science
Science can be of different kinds. The most common ones include Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Social Science.
Galileo Galilei is known as the father of Science.
Anatomy & Physiology is a branch of Science which deals with the human body.
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.