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  • Start date: September 2016

Mathematics and Physics BSc

Physics and mathematics are inextricably linked. It is not really possible to understand the basic concepts of physics such as elementary particle theory without a strong grounding in both pure and applied mathematics. This BSc combines the study of mathematics and physics on an equal basis, each reinforcing the other.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Mathematics and Physics BSc
UCAS code
GF13
Duration
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Mathematics
Total intake (by subject area)
210 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
9 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades
A*A*A, or A*AA and a 1 in any STEP paper or distinction in Mathematics AEA
Subjects
Mathematics and Further Mathematics required at A*, or one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics at A* if STEP or AEA offered. Physics also required.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points
39-40
Subjects
A score of 20 points in three higher level subjects including 7 in Mathematics and at least 6 in Physics, or 19 points in three higher level subjects including 7 in Mathematics and at least 6 in Physics and a 1 in any STEP paper or a distinction in Mathematics AEA, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 33 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, or 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units and a 1 in any STEP paper or a Distinction in AEA, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D2,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including D2 in Mathematics and Physics. Or D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject Certificates, including D2 in Mathematics and at least D3 in Physics and a 1 in any STEP paper

A1,A1,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A1 at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher) including Mathematics and Physics at A1, or A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher) including Mathematics at A1 and Physics, plus a 1 in any STEP paper

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*A*, or A*A and a 1 in any STEP paper or Distinction in AEA. To include Physics and Further Mathematics.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Gain transferable skills such as numeracy, problem-solving and logical thinking, which can lead to a large variety of interesting, diverse and well-paid careers.
  • Internationally renowned UCL Mathematics is home to world-leading researchers in a wide range of fields, especially geometry, spectral theory, number theory, fluid dynamics and mathematical modelling.
  • Three of the six British winners of the Fields medal (the mathematician's equivalent of the Nobel Prize) have associations with the department.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In the first and second years of the programme you will cover a balanced selection of courses in both UCL Mathematics and the UCL Physics & Astronomy. Having laid the basic foundations there is a wide range of courses from both subjects in the third year of the degree. Most of the courses will be selected from those followed by single-subject students. Students taking this programme do not have to do any practical work, although this is possible if so desired.

This programme is offered as a three-year BSc or a four-year MSci degree. The first two years of the programme are identical, and students are advised to apply for the MSci degree in the first instance, as it is possible to transfer to the BSc during the first three years.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Mathematics courses:

Algebra for Joint Honours Students
Analysis 1
Mathematical Methods 1
Mathematical Methods 2

Physics & Astronomy courses:

Classical Mechanics
Physics of the Universe
Thermal Physics
Waves, Optics and Acoustics

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Mathematics courses:

Analysis 3: Complex Analysis
Fluid Mechanics
Mathematical Methods 3

Physics & Astronomy courses:

Atomic and Molecular Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
Quantum Physics
Statistical Thermodynamics

Optional courses

You will select one of the following 0.5 credit Mathematics courses:

Analytical Dynamics
Mathematical Methods 4

Final Year

Compulsory courses

All final-year courses are optional. Currently available Mathematics options are described on the UCL Mathematics website.

Optional courses

You will select:

1.5 credits from the following Physics options:
Electromagnetic Theory
Nuclear and Particle Physics
Quantum Mechanics
Solid State Physics

1.0 credit from third-year Mathematics options

1.0 credit from suitable Physics or third-year Mathematics options

0.5 credits of Physics, third-year Mathematics or approved outside options

Your learning

Teaching is mainly carried out through lectures and small-group tutorials. Problem classes allow you to exercise the skills you have learned. In addition, an 'office hours' system for each course allows you to meet with tutors on a one-to-one basis to review parts of the course you find interesting or need clarifying.

Assessment

Most courses are assessed by two-hour written examinations in the third term, with a small element (10%) of coursework assessment. A system of Peer Assisted Learning has been pioneered in the department, with second-year students offering support and advice to first-years.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Mathematics and Physics BSc.

Careers

We aim to develop your skills in mathematical reasoning, problem-solving and accurate mathematical manipulation. You will also learn to handle abstract concepts and to think critically, argue logically and express yourself clearly.

A mathematics degree is highly valued by employers due to the skills in logical thinking, analysis, problem-solving and, of course, numeracy, that it develops.

Graduates have gone forward to use their mathematical skills in careers in the City of London, such as forecasting, risk analysis and trading, in financial services, such as accountancy, banking and insurance, and in scientific research, information technology and industry.

Further study, such as a Master's degree or a PGCE qualification, is another popular option.

Destinations

First career destinations of recent graduates (2011-2013) of Mathematics and Physics programmes at UCL include:

  • Full-time student, MASt in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge (2013)
  • Full-time student, MSc in Mathematics at UCL (2012)
  • Management Consultant, Deloitte (2011)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding

Fees

UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2015/16)
Overseas fee
£16,690 (2015/16)

Funding

Details about financial support are available at: Fees and funding

Scholarships

Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Dean's Summer Student Scholarships

Value
Variable
Eligibility
Overseas
Criteria
Based on academic merit

The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to academic requirements, we expect you to demonstrate an understanding and enjoyment of the subject beyond the examined syllabus, through your reading and involvement in problem-solving activities. Evidence of your curiosity and perseverance in tackling puzzles, and your enjoyment of logical and abstract thinking, should be shown in your application.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016



Selection

If your application is sufficiently strong you will be invited to visit the department for an applicant afternoon. Alternatively, some invitations are for an academic interview. You will also be able to talk to current students and staff and will be given a tour.

The department is involved in the Year in Industry Scheme which involves deferring entry for a year to gain valuable work experience.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students