Mathematics and Physics BSc (Hons), MPhys or MMath – 2019 entry

Why choose this course

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

Our physics courses are ranked top 10 in the UK for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2018.

What you will study

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 subject.

Our mathematics and physics courses open up a huge range of job opportunities and 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 course to suit your own interests.

This course is recognised by the UK Institute of Physics.

You can apply to study for either a BSc or an MMath (Master of Mathematics) or MPhys (Master of Physics), direct routes to a masters qualification. If you study toward one of the integrated masters, you will spend part of the fourth (last) year doing a research project in either Physics (MPhys) or Mathematics (MMath).

Depending on your progress, you may have the option to switch to a BSc, MMath or MPhys during your studies.

Course facts

Qualification Course length Professional Training UCAS KIS code
BSc (Hons) 36 months GF1H View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 48 months GFH1 View KIS data set
MPhys 48 months GF1I View KIS data set
MPhys 60 months GFI1 View KIS data set
MMath 60 months GF14 View KIS data set
MMath 48 months GF13 View KIS data set

Professional Training placements

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and 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

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 get the opportunity to do on placement reflects this breadth, and varies 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 placement 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 host 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.

Applying for placements

Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

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 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 careers.

All Surrey physics students learn a range of employability skills during their studies. This includes dedicated sessions on interview techniques, CV preparation and job applications.

Students who take a Professional Training placement 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.

Study and work abroad

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. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.

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

  • California State University, US
  • George Mason University, US
  • La Trobe University, Australia
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • North Carolina State University, US
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • University of Central Florida, US
  • University of Cincinnati, US
  • University of North Texas, US
  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • University of Virginia, US
  • Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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 in your third year. 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 to improve or learn another language.

Facilities

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.

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 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 prospectus 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.

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.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.

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.

Modules

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

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

Year 3

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.

Professional Training Year (PTY)

Optional modules for Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

NA

Professional Training Year (PTY)

Optional modules for Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

NA

Timetables

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 will learn through a stimulating mixture of lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, practical exercises and computational classes, and undertake 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.

You will be taught by academics who are world-class researchers in both theoretical and mathematical physics, leading research in many areas such as the 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. Our academics are committed to integrating research into their teaching.

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.

Staff

This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Programme leader

DIAZ TORRES A Dr (Physics)

Personal tutor

All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:

  • Academic progress

  • Pastoral/welfare issues

  • Personal/professional development and employability.

Assessment

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. 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.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

What qualifications do you need?

A-level

Overall:

BSc (Hons): ABB. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

MPhys (Hons): AAB. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

MMath (Hons): AAB. 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 at Grade A.

MMath (Hons): D*DD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-Level Mathematics at 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): 32.

MMath (Hons): 34.

MPhys (Hons): 34.

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): 82%.

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): Mathematics and Physics Grade 8.5.

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 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

MPhys (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 Credits at Distinction.

MMath (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 Credits at Distinction.

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): AAABB.

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): AAB 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: Completion of GCSE English and Mathematics equivalents within the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

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.

Select your country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 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. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

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.

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

Qualification Course length Professional Training UK/EU fees Overseas fees Professional Training fees
BSc (Hons) 36 months To be confirmed To be confirmed Not applicable
BSc (Hons) 48 months To be confirmed To be confirmed To be confirmed
MPhys 48 months To be confirmed To be confirmed Not applicable
MPhys 60 months To be confirmed To be confirmed To be confirmed
MMath 60 months To be confirmed To be confirmed To be confirmed
MMath 48 months To be confirmed To be confirmed Not applicable

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

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.

Additional costs

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

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

There are associated costs with this MMath (Hons) programme:

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

There are associated costs with this MPhys (Hons) programme:

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

These additional costs are accurate as of September 2017 and apply to the 2018 year of entry. Costs for 2019 entry will be published in September 2018.

How to apply

Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.

Admissions information

Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

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