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.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 8 (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 212 (2018 entry)*
- A*A*A, or A*AA and a 1 in any STEP paper or distinction in Mathematics AEA
- Mathematics and Further Mathematics required at A*, or one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics at A* if STEP or AEA offered. Physics also required.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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
- 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:
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 Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades A*A*A, or A*AA and a 1 in any STEP paper or Distinction in AEA. To include Physics and Further Maths.
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
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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.
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.
UCL Physics & Astronomy was ranked 5th and UCL Mathematics 6th in the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Mathematics.
- 82% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules 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 modules in both UCL Mathematics and UCL Physics & Astronomy. Having laid the basic foundations there is a wide range of modules from both subjects in the third year of the degree. Most of the modules 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.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Algebra for Joint Honours Students
Mathematical Methods 1
Mathematical Methods 2
Physics and astronomy modules:
Physics of the Universe
Waves, Optics and Acoustics
All first year modules are compulsory.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Analysis 3: Complex Analysis
Mathematical Methods 3
Physics astronomy modules:
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Electricity and Magnetism
You will select one of the following 0.5 credit mathematics modules:
Mathematical Methods 4
Core or compulsory module(s)
All final-year modules are optional. Currently available mathematics options are described on the UCL Mathematics website.
You will select:
1.5 credits from the following physics options:
Nuclear and Particle Physics
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
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 programme allows you to meet with tutors on a one-to-one basis to review parts of the degree that you find interesting or need clarifying. A Student Mentor scheme runs in the department offering support and advice to first-years.
Most modules are assessed by two-hour written examinations in the third term, with a small element (10%) of coursework assessment.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Mathematics and Physics BSc.
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.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of Mathematics and Physics programmes at UCL include:
- Full-time student, MASt in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge
- Investment Analyst, Aon Hewitt
- Mathematics MSc, UCL
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 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
“Mathematics and Physics is a degree programme that not many universities offer. With a keen interest in both fields, I strongly benefited from the exposure of cross department classes, which ultimately nurtured my passion in the subject and led me to pursue postgraduate research. The faculty at UCL is very friendly. The professors and support staff really care about your progress and continue to support you long after graduation.”Lu Heng Sunny Yu - Mathematics and Physics BSc (2013)
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2018/19)
- Overseas students
- £22,790 (2018/19)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
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 2018
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.