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 a career in 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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Branches of Science: Three Major Divisions

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 Physics, Chemistry and Biology have long been considered the fundamental components of the vast stream of Science, the need to create the three above-mentioned overarching disciplines emerged in order to integrate the rapidly growing research and exploration in this field. Let’s further elaborate these three branches of Science exploring the numerous areas of study that they are comprised of.

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.

Courses Offered in Physical Sciences: BSc/MSc Physics, BSc/MSc Chemistry, MSc Space Sciences, MSc Particle Physics, MSc Nuclear Physics, MSc Astrophysics etc.

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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 living matter, Physical Sciences includes 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. Further, for those wanting to pursue a career in this field, there is an array of Life Science courses offered across the globe and are immensely rigorous and intensive involving heavy amounts of learning and research.

Courses Offered in Life Sciences: BSc/MSc Zoology, BSc/MSc Anatomy, BSc/MSc Molecular Biology, BSc/MSc Genetics, BSc/MSc Biotechnology, MSc Bioinformatics, MSc Biochemistry etc.

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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: BSc Geology, MSc Geology, BSc/MSc Geography, BSc/MSc Astronomy, MSc Climatology, MSc Meteorology etc.

Here is a tabular depiction of the several branches of sciences and their sub-branches:

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

Physics+Chemistry = Physical
Organic Chemistry


Astronomy+Physics = AstrophysicsBiology+Geology =
Astronomy + Geology =

Others Branches of Science

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

  • Aeronautics
  • Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Biomedical Science
  • Computer Science
  • Materials Science
  • Science Management
  • Space Science
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Forensic Science

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

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

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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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