Mathematics and Physics BSc (Hons), MMath (Hons) or MPhys (Hons) – 2018 entry

The Maths lecturers are really helpful and willing to spend extra time to explain any difficult areas. There’s a fantastic community here. It’s not just a place to study for your degree, it’s a place where you develop as a person.

What you'll study

If you are undecided as to whether you would prefer to study mathematics or physics at university, this course offers the perfect answer. Taught jointly by the two departments, our Mathematics and Physics programmes focus on the way maths is applied in physics. Whether you think of it as applied maths or theoretical physics, this joint degree gives you the best of both worlds.

Programme overview

Partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and home to superb facilities and academics at the forefront of research in both mathematics and physics, the University of Surrey is uniquely placed to offer this distinctive programme.  The degree opens up a huge range of job opportunities or enables you to study for a PhD in either field.

You will study core topics across both subjects including calculus, quantum physics, linear algebra and particle physics, giving you an excellent grounding. You’ll also get to choose from a range of fascinating optional modules – such as fluid dynamics, space science, Galois theory and general relativity – and take an extended project, enabling you to tailor the programme to suit your own interests.

Programme structure

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specification documents which include further details such as the learning outcomes. Please be aware that these specifications are applicable to the current academic year.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Professional Training placement (optional)

Many of our students opt to do a Professional Training placement. These normally begin at the end of the second academic year and finish in time for you to begin the third year of study.

Professional Training placements offer students the opportunity to gain access to the world of work, including meeting employers, developing job search skills and acquiring the employability skills that employers look for. Find out more about Professional Training placements.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 4 (FHEQ Level 7)

Our MPhys programmes are four-year courses with an integrated research year that is unique in the UK. In Year 4, MPhys students undertake a problem-solving module and choose up to five optional modules.

The range of modules available may vary from year to year, but your freedom to choose which options to study remains our priority. The unique research year begins after you have completed half of your Year 3 taught modules, at the end of the autumn semester.

Professional recognition

The Mathematics and Physics degree is recognised by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), and by the Institute of Physics.

 Institute of Mathematics & its applications logo
Institute of Physics (IOP) logo


You will have a stimulating mixture of lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, practical exercises and computational classes. There will be assigned coursework, problem solving and projects.

Computers are used extensively, as teaching aids via self-learning packages, in the laboratory for experimental control and data analysis, in modelling of physical problems and for effective communication.

Eight practical laboratory half-modules are designed to introduce particular elements of physics, experimental design, data analysis, background research and technical writing.

A ninth module introduces computational modelling, the topic of which can be based upon your personal interests. Experimental and computational exercises, undertaken in the teaching laboratory, are designed to complement and aid the learning of concepts taught in lectures.

Discover more about our academic staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science.


Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.

For the MPhys degrees, 30 per cent of the degree is awarded for the Year 2 modules, 30 per cent for the research year and associated dissertation, and 40 per cent for the Year 3 modules.

For the BSc degrees, 35 per cent of the degree mark is awarded for the Year 2 modules with 65 per cent awarded in Year 3.

Coursework accounts for about 30 per cent of the overall degree mark.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's Module Catalogue. See the programme structure section for more information.


We can boast extensive facilities within the Department of Physics, including our undergraduate teaching laboratories which recently underwent a thorough refurbishment.

The Department has also recently benefited from a £3.5 million refurbishment of its research laboratories, which our undergraduate students use as they carry out their final-year research projects.

The University of Surrey is currently leading a £6 million research project to develop quantum computers using atomic-scale devices.

Academic support

You are allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on your option choices and future career, helping you to get the most out of your time at Surrey.

Global opportunities

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. To check where you can go, visit our Global Exchanges pages.

You have the option of spending one or two semesters abroad in your second year at one of our partner universities, including:

  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Seoul National University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of North Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • University of Sydney
  • La Trobe University
  • Brock University
  • University of Victoria, Wellington

International experiences expose you to a new cultural environment that develops your adaptation and communication skills and also your ability to deal with unfamiliar situations, thus strengthening your academic and professional profile.

In addition, or alternatively, you may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also improve or learn another language.

Careers and Professional Training

We are very proud of our track record for graduate employability. One of the main reasons for our graduate employability success is our Professional Training placement programme which is one of the largest in the World, with over 2,300 partner organisations in the UK and overseas. To find out more visit our Careers and Professional Training pages.

Sandwiched between Years 2 and 3 for our BSc programmes, the Professional Training placement year provides an opportunity for you to enhance your academic studies, with practical experience augmenting your knowledge and skills.

Mathematicians are in demand in many areas of business and industry. The work which students are able to do on placement reflects this breadth, and may vary from operational research and computer programming in insurance or banking to analysing clinical trials or solving heat transfer and aerodynamic problems encountered in the atomic energy and aerospace fields.

We have excellent links with an extensive portfolio of companies and organisations. Recent employers include:

  • Deloitte & Touche
  • Intel
  • AXA Actuarial
  • Royal Sun Alliance
  • Lloyds TSB
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • NHS
  • Department of Transport
  • HM Customs and Excise

The optional Professional Training placement starts at the end of your second academic year.

If you decide not to do the Professional Training year, you proceed directly to Year 3 to complete your taught modules and graduate in your third year.

Transfer between programmes which do or do not include a Professional Training placement is possible during the first year, so a decision made when you apply can be changed later.

While on placement, you will be a paid employee of the training company. You will, however, also continue to be a member of the University and will be visited periodically by academic staff to track your progress and help ensure that you have a successful experience.

The MMath and MPhys pathways involve a compulsory integrated research year, which takes place in Year 3.

Graduate prospects

Physicists are highly sought after in industry, research, education, management, medicine, law and business, because of their broad practical skills and knowledge of fundamental theory.

Our degrees will provide you with the analytical, experimental and computational skills valued in a wide range of career opportunities.

All Surrey Physics students learn a range of employability skills during their studies. These include a dedicated Year 1 module, Scientific Investigation Skills, which covers key communication skills, group work and presentations, problem-solving in the laboratory environment, plus sessions on interview techniques, CV preparation and job applications.

Students who take either the Professional Training or research year placements also get invaluable employment experience at their host institution.

Many of our graduates, particularly those with an MPhys degree, go on to postgraduate degrees in order to become researchers. Other graduates have launched careers in organisations such as:

  • Shell International Petroleum
  • 3M
  • GEC Marconi Research
  • Nokia
  • BT
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • BBC
  • NHS
  • Defence Research Agency
  • Surrey Medical Imaging Systems

Graduates have taken up roles such as research physicists, consultants, engineers, teachers and bankers in companies including the BBC, BAE Systems and Astrium.

Many have gone on to take Masters degrees in a range of subjects, such as geophysics, nanotechnology, meteorology, quantum field theory, education management and science communication, while others have chosen to study for PhDs in astrophysics, semiconductors or photonics.

2018 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?


For BSc programme: AAB to include Mathematics at grade A, and Physics A-levels.

For MMath and MPhys programmes: AAA (or AAB including Further Mathematics A-level) with Mathematics at grade A, and Physics A-levels.


Access to HE Diploma

For BSc programme: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit

For MMath and MPhys programmes: 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

For BSc programme: DDD and A-Level Mathematics at Grade A

For MMath and MPhys programmes: D*DD and A-Level Mathematics at Grade A

European Baccalaureate

For BSc programme: 75 per cent overall

For MMath and MPhys programmes: 76 per cent overall

International Baccalaureate

For BSc programme: 34 overall including 6,6,5 at Higher Level

For MMath and MPhys programmes: 34 overall including 6,6,6 at Higher Level

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass

Scottish Highers

For BSc programme: AAABB

For MMath and MPhys programmes: AAAAB

Welsh Baccalaureate

For BSc programme: Pass overall with AAB from the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels

For MMath and MPhys programmes: Pass overall with an A in the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent)

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2017 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 years GF1H View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 years GFH1 View KIS data set
MMath (Hons) 4 years GF13 View KIS data set
MPhys (Hons) 4 years GF1I View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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