Mathematics and Physics BSc (Hons), MPhys or MMath – 2021 entry

Key information

Start date: October 2021

BSc (Hons) UCAS: GF1H

3 years

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BSc (Hons) UCAS: GFH1

4 years with professional training

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MPhys UCAS: GF14

4 years

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MMath UCAS: GF13

4 years

View KIS data set

MPhys UCAS: GF14

5 years with professional training

View KIS data set

MMath UCAS: GF14

5 years with professional training

View KIS data set

Why choose this course

If you have a passion for deeply understanding the Universe and a love of mathematics, our Mathematics and Physics courses could be perfect for you.

Taught jointly by the two departments, our BSc, MMath and MPhys courses will give you a deeper understanding of mathematics and explore how it’s applied to solve physics problems. Whether you think of it as applied mathematics or theoretical physics, this joint course gives you the best of both worlds.

They will provide a solid foundation for understanding the key theories of modern physics, such as special and general relativity, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.

A unique aspect of all three courses is our placement programme. You can take up a paid year-long placement in an industry research laboratory or company, gaining valuable industry-relevant experience as part of your degree.

Five reasons to study mathematics at Surrey

Read more

What you will study

Surrey’s mathematics and physics courses explore core topics across both subjects including calculus, quantum physics, linear algebra and particle physics.

You’ll also get to choose from a range of fascinating optional modules – such as fluid dynamics, nuclear astrophysics, Galois theory and general relativity – and take an extended project, enabling you to tailor the course to suit your own interests.

The final research project will be carried out under the supervision of an academic who is a leading researcher in the field. The outcomes of the project may lead to a publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

You can apply to study for either a BSc or an MMath (Master of Mathematics) or MPhys (Master of Physics), which are direct routes to a masters qualification.

If you study toward one of the integrated masters, you’ll spend part of your last year doing a research project in either physics (MPhys) or mathematics (MMath). Find out more about the benefits of an integrated masters degree.

Facilities

Surrey’s Department of Physics boasts extensive facilities including our state-of-the-art undergraduate computational laboratories and student common room.

The Department has also recently benefitted 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 is currently leading a £6 million research project to develop quantum computers using atomic-scale devices.

Professional recognition

BSc (Hons) - Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught masters degrees.

BSc (Hons) - Institute of Physics (IOP)
Recognised by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of eligibility for Associate Membership.

MPhys - Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
This programme is accredited to meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

MPhys - Institute of Physics (IOP)
Recognised by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of eligibility for Associate Membership.

MMath - Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
This programme is accredited to meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

MMath - Institute of Physics (IOP)
Recognised by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of eligibility for Associate Membership.

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

Physicists and mathematicians are highly sought after in industry, research, education, management, medicine, law and business because of their wide-ranging analytic and practical skills, their knowledge of fundamental theory, and their ability to solve complex problems.

Our courses will provide you with the analytical, experimental and computational skills valued in a wide range of careers. You will learn a range of employability skills during your studies, including interview techniques, CV preparation and job applications. If you opt to take a Professional Training Year  placement you’ll also gain invaluable employment experience.

Our graduates go on to become research physicists, consultants, engineers, teachers and bankers, among other roles.

Recent graduates are now employed in a range of organisations, including:

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

Many graduates go on to take masters courses in a range of subjects such as geophysics, nanotechnology, meteorology, quantum field theory, education management and science communication. Others, particularly those with an MPhys degree, choose to pursue PhDs in nuclear science, astrophysics, semiconductors or photonics.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

Modules

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

Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:

Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6

Students must choose either MAT3019 or PHY3002.
Semester 1: choose 3 options if MAT3019 selected, otherwise choose 4 options.
Semester 2: choose 3 options if MAT3019 selected, otherwise choose 2 options.
MAT3036 cannot be chosen if MAT3019 taken.
At least one MAT3xxx and one PHY3xxx module must be taken each semester; some combinations may not be possible due to timetabling constraints.

Optional modules for Year 3 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 6

Students must choose either MAT3019 or PHY3002.
Semester 1: choose 3 options if MAT3019 selected, otherwise choose 4 options.
Semester 2: choose 3 options if MAT3019 selected, otherwise choose 2 options.
MAT3036 cannot be chosen if MAT3019 taken.
At least one MAT3xxx and one PHY3xxx module must be taken each semester; some combinations may not be possible due to timetabling constraints.

Optional modules for Professional Training Year (PTY) -

NA

Optional modules for Professional Training Year (PTY) -

NA

Timetables

Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Teaching

You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, practical exercises and computational classes, and carry out assigned coursework, problem-solving and projects. Computers are used as teaching aids 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 own personal interests. Experimental and computational exercises carried out in the teaching laboratory are designed to complement and aid the learning of concepts taught in lectures.

You’ll be taught by research-led academics who specialise in both theoretical and mathematical physics. They lead research in many areas including our understanding of the structure and dynamics of complex systems – from atomic nuclei, to galaxies and super-massive black holes. Research in mathematical physics includes ergodic theory, quantum field theory, general relativity, fluid dynamics and mathematical biology.

There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.

Assessment

We assess modules individually and award credits for the successful completion of each one. You will be assessed through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.

Please check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

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 modules section for more information.

Entry requirements

A-level

Overall:

  • BSc (Hons):
    • ABB. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.
  • MPhys (Hons):​
    • ​​​​​​AAA. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.
  • MMath (Hons):
    • AAA. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Required subjects: Mathematics at Grade A and Physics.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

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

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall:

  • BSc (Hons):
    • DDD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-Level Mathematics at grade A.
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • D*DD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-level Mathematics grade A.
       
  • MMath (Hons):
    • D*DD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-level Mathematics grade A.
       

Required subjects: BTEC must be in a relevant subject.

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

International Baccalaureate

Overall:

  • BSc (Hons):
    • 33
  • MMath (Hons):
    • 35
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • 35

Required subjects:

  • BSc (Hons): HL6 in Mathematics and HL5/SL6 in Physics.
  • MPhys (Hons) / MMath (Hons): HL6 in Mathematics and HL6/SL7 in Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English HL4/SL4 and Mathematics or Mathematics studies HL4/SL4.

European Baccalaureate

Overall:

  • BSc (Hons):
    • 78%
  • MMath (Hons):
    • 85%
  • MPhys (Hons):
    • 85%

Required subjects:

  • BSc (Hons):
    • Grade 8.5 in Mathematics and at least 7.5 in Physics.
  • MPhys (Hons) / MMath (Hons):
    • Grade 8.5 and 7.5 in Maths and Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language (1/2) - 6 English Language (3) - 7 Mathematics 6.

Access to HE Diploma

Overall:

BSc (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit and A-Level Mathematics at Grade A.

MPhys (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction and A-level Mathematics grade A.

MMath (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Distinction and A-level Mathematics grade A.

Required subjects: Modules must be in relevant subjects.

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

Scottish Highers

Overall

BSc (Hons): AABBB.

MMath (Hons): AAAAB.

MPhys (Hons): AAAAB.

Required subjects: Mathematics Grade A and Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language - Scottish National 5 - C Mathematics - Scottish National 5 - C.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall:

BSc (Hons): ABB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

MPhys (Hons): AAA from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass. 

MMath (Hons): AAA from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass. 

Required subjects: A-level Mathematics at Grade A and A level Physics.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics ­– Numeracy as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. Please check the A-level drop down for the required GCSE levels.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will receive our standard A-level offer, plus an alternate offer of one A-level grade lower, subject to achieving an A grade in the EPQ. The one grade reduction will not apply to any required subjects.

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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Selection process

We normally make offers in terms of grades.

If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2021

BSc (Hons)

UK and EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)

UK and EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

Professional training £1,850

MPhys

UK and EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

MMath

UK and EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

MPhys (with professional training year)

UK and EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

Professional training £1,850

MMath (with professional training year)

UK and EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

Professional training £1,850

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

  • Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. 
  • Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
  • Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 
  • Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements. 

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.

Payment schedule

  • Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
  • International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
    • 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
    • 50% in January of the same academic year.

The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.

If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.

Professional Training placement fees

If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.

See the information about 2019/20 academic year Professional Training placement fee.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this BSc (Hons) course:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): unable to specify amount – some travel costs for commuting schools as part of the Physics in Education module

There are associated costs with this MMath course:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): unable to specify amount – some travel costs for commuting schools as part of the Physics in Education module

There are associated costs with this MPhys course:

  • Commuting (local travel expenses): unable to specify amount – some travel costs for commuting schools as part of the Physics in Education module

Placements

You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.

A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

Mathematics and Physics placements

The optional Professional Training Year  placement takes place between Years 2 and 3 for students on our Math and Physics degree courses (BSc and MMath/MPhys).

Physicists and mathematicians are in demand in many areas of business and industry, and the work students carry out on placement reflects this breadth. This varies from operational research or 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
  • Culham Science Centre for Nuclear Fusion
  • HM Customs and Excise.

Applying for placements

You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.

Find out about more about the application process.

Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Mathematics student Rory discusses his placement at IBM and Wimbledon.

Study and work abroad

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.

Want to study at an overseas institution as part of your degree or work abroad during your Professional Training year? Perhaps you would like to volunteer in India or learn about Brazilian business and culture in São Paulo during your summer holidays? With more than 200 partnerships, from 50 different countries worldwide, there is something for everyone.

Not only is the opportunity to go abroad a hugely enjoyable experience, you will develop key skills and knowledge that will strengthen your CV and increase your employability.

View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.

Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

After their second year, BSc students have the option of taking an exchange year abroad at one of our partner universities. These include:

  • La Trobe University
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Brock University
  • Rheinisch Westfalische Technische Aachen
  • Technische Universitat Clausthal
  • Republic of-Seoul National University
  • Universiti Malaya (UM)
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • California State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Maryland
  • University of North Texas.

You may also choose to spend your Professional Training year working in another country.

Students share their experiences of going on an international exchange to Hong Kong.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
 
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.

Disclaimer

This online guide has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Placement location

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.

University of Surrey
Address

University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey GU2 7XH