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Degree Programme Descriptions
This section gives a brief outline of each degree
programme. It should be remembered that the first years of the BSc and
MSci of each degree programme are identical. In the later years of these
degrees there is a wide range of options. MSci students have to study a
certain number of designated courses and do a one-unit project in the
Please click here for more Detailed Degree Programme Structures
Please see the information below for brief degree descriptions:
The single-subject Mathematics degrees remain the major and most popular degree programmes, where mathematics is studied in all its many diverse forms.
Students are given a solid grounding in basic advanced mathematics – the core courses in the first one-and-a-half years of the programme. From then on students can specialise in their areas of interest. The study of the core courses is the prerequisite for the choice of options in the second half of the second year and the fourty or so options in the third and fourth years. A brief look at these options will indicate that mathematics is not a monolithic subject as some people assume and that there is a large variety of interesting subjects which can be studied, including geophysical fluid dynamics, mathematics in biological or financial contexts, number theory, probability and statistical applications, and geometry. This is also a reflection of the wide research interests of the staff of the department.
The above is a brief description only.
(PREVIOUSLY CALLED MATHEMATICS WITH THEORETICAL PHYSICS)
Mathematics and physics are closely interlinked subjects with mathematics giving many fascinating insights into various areas of physics (and conversely!).
The Mathematics Department is fortunate in having members of staff whose research interests span both mathematics and mathematical physics. This is reflected in the wide range of applied mathematics/mathematical physics courses offered by the department, particularly in the third/fourth-year options. Many students in the past have chosen to concentrate on mathematics/mathematical physics courses within the Mathematics degree programme in addition to taking some courses in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The degrees in Mathematics with Mathematical Physics are specifically geared to give recognition to this, so that students can be awarded these degrees rather than simply a degree in Mathematics.
In essence, these degree programmes are the same as those for the single-subject Mathematics degrees in the first year and the first half of the second year, except that Quantum Mechanics can be taken in place of Algebra 3. The programme then follows relevant pure and applied mathematics options in the second half of the second year and in the third/fourth years, supplemented by physics courses given in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Some possible Mathematics and Physics options:
Atomic and Molecular Physics† and Quantum Mechanics†.
† Courses given by the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The above is a brief description only.
Many mathematics graduates go on to careers in finance and commerce. It is only natural that mathematics students should have an interest in, and a curiosity about, economics and its many ramifications. Moreover there are close and exciting connection between parts of economic theory and certain areas of abstract mathematics, and several members of staff in the Department of Economics have mathematics degrees. As a result, the research interests of staff in both the Departments of Economics and Mathematics allow the possibility of providing a number of advanced courses in this area. These degree programmes are designed for students who are interested in making mathematics their major area of study but who would also like to obtain a knowledge and understanding of general economics and related subjects such as commerce and business. No previous knowledge of economics is required.
In the first two years of these programmes students receive a thorough grounding in analysis, algebra and mathematical methods, following the same courses as the single-subject mathematics students taking three units each year. In place of the applied mathematics courses, students take one unit of introductory economics each year (comprising both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics components). Having laid the basic foundations there is a range of options in both mathematics and economics in the third/fourth years.
Some possible Economics third-year Options (Department of Economics)
International Trade; Environmental Economics; Industrial Economics; Economics of Financial Markets; Game Theory; Economics of Growth; Urban Economics; Ethics in Applied Economics.
The above is a brief description only.
Increasing numbers of students are interested in careers which may involve them with Europe and elsewhere overseas. These degree programmes allow students to concentrate mainly on mathematics while at the same time achieving proficiency in two or more modern languages.
UCL has a Language Centre which has a fully equipped Self-Access Centre with the latest language-learning technology, including a CD-Rom interactive video facility, an audio laboratory, and computers for Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), satellite television offering programmes from a variety of European stations and a wide range of audio-visual material.
Seven main languages –Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish - are available for study and all levels of competence can be catered for. Each student will be interviewed at the beginning of the year to determine what is their appropriate level. It is sometimes possible to provide study in other languages such as Dutch, Hebrew, Portuguese, Scandinavian and Slavonic languages and many others. It is also possible to study a course leading to a qualification in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). in addition it may be possible to study general courses in European Studies.
Courses are offered at seven levels, from complete beginners (level 1) to advanced (level 4) and post A level (levels 5-7). Courses at level 5 and above are especially suitable for students requiring the language for a special purpose, with emphasis on vocational purposes (Business and Current Affairs; Current Affairs and Culture (Social, Historical and Political); Professional Purposes II) and study abroad purposes (Academic Purposes II). Each student is expected to study at least one language to level 4, and students are encouraged to study other languages in addition.
Each half-unit of language tuition involves a block of two hours tuition per week over an academic year. With such a wide range of options it is sometimes necessary to timetable tuition early in the day or in the late afternoon. Students are expected to supplement this tuition with at least a further four hours of self-study a week on coursework including the use of the Self-Access Centre. All the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) are covered by the courses, and each counts for 25% of the final mark.
Students who have obtained level 4 in a particular language may also be able to study courses in the corresponding UCL academic language department.
Unlike similar courses in other universities this course does not involve a required extra year abroad.
Details of the Language Centre and its courses can be found here. No previous knowledge of any particular language is required for these degrees. For example, it is not necessary to have any A levels in a modern language.
In the first two years of these programmes, students receive a thorough grounding in pure mathematics and mathematical methods, following the same courses as the single-subject mathematics students taking three units each year. In place of the applied mathematics courses students take one unit in modern languages each year. Having laid the basic foundations there is a wide range of options in both mathematics and language(s) in the third/fourth years.
Mathematics graduates are particularly valued by employers as they are able to think logically, have analytical minds and are used to problem-solving. However, many students also wish to have some basic expertise which will help them directly in the first years in their jobs in management. UCL's Department of Management Science and Innovation gives highly practical courses in management which will be of direct use to students when they leave UCL. Many of our graduates then spend some time in management and subsequently choose to build their management knowledge and experience by following a further management qualification, such as the MBA (Master in Business Administration). All the courses given by the department are validated by external experts from the private, public and charitable sectors. No previous knowledge of management studies is required for these degrees.
For the first two years of these degree programmes students receive a thorough grounding in pure mathematics and mathematical methods following the same courses as the single-subject mathematics students, taking three units of pure mathematics/mathematical methods each year. In place of the applied mathematics courses students take two half-units in management studies each year (see below). Having laid the basic foundations there is a wide range of options in both mathematics and management studies in the third/fourth years.
Management Studies Courses (Management Studies Centre)
Understanding Management; Communication and Behaviour in Organisation.
Accounting for Business; Business in a Competitive Environment.
Project Programme and Portfolio Management and other courses chosen from: The Marketing Process; Corporate Finance; Organisational Change; E-Business Environment and Management; Law for Managers; Mastering Entrepreneurship; Business Plan; International Business; Innovation Management; Strategic Human Resource Management; Decision and Risk (Statistical Science).
Physics and mathematics are inextricably linked. It is not really possible to understand the basic concepts of physics such as elementary particle theory without having a strong grounding in both pure and applied mathematics. If you do not wish to study mathematics exclusively it is possible to combine the study of mathematics with that of physics on an equal basis each reinforcing the other. These degree programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics.
In the first and second years of this programme students cover a balanced selection of courses in each department. Having laid the basic foundations there is a wide range of courses from both subjects in the third/fourth years of the degree. Most of the courses will be selected from those followed by single-subject students. Students taking these degrees do not have to do any practical work.
Physics Courses (Department of Physics and Astronomy
Classical Mechanics; Atoms, Stars and the Universe; Thermal Physics and Waves, Optics and Acoustics.
Atomic and Molecular Physics; Statistical Thermodynamics; Electricity and Magnetism; Quantum Physics.
Nuclear and Particle Physics; Quantum Mechanics; Solid State Physics.
It may also be possible to take the following: Astrophysical Processes; Environmental Physics; Physics of the Earth.
These degree programmes are designed for students who want to tackle the realistic and powerful applications of statistics, while continuing to develop their knowledge and skills in pure mathematics, and exploring the interaction between the two subjects. Statistics will include much practical work while the mathematics will cover the theoretical aspects of the pure mathematics required to sustain and understand this. These degrees are an excellent preparation for becoming a professional statistician or an actuary. No previous knowledge of statistics is required for these degree programmes.
The degrees are accredited by the Royal Statistical Society so that on joining the society, graduates are awarded Graduate Statistician status provided that at least second-class Honours has been obtained.
In the first and second years students will take a balanced selection of courses from each department (see below). Having laid the basic foundations there is a wide range of options in both subjects in the third/fourth year.
Statistics Courses (Department of Statistical Science)
Introduction to Probability and Statistics; Introduction to Practical Statistics; Further Probablilty and Statistics.
Computing for Practical Statistics; Linear Models and the Analysis of Variance; Introduction to Applied Probability; Probability and Inference; either Optimization Algorithms in Operations Research or Social Statistics.
Other Third/Fourth Year Statistics Options
Decision and Risk; Factorial Experimentation; Forecasting; Medical Statistics I; Medical Statistics II; Optimization Algorithms in Operations Research; Project (half-unit or whole unit); Social Statistics; Stochastic Methods in Finance; Stochastic Systems.