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BScMathematics & Physics

Why this course?

Our flexible degree structure enables transfer between courses with the opportunity to study abroad.

Mathematics is everywhere: weather forecasting, cash machines, secure websites, electronic games, liquid crystal displays and statistical data analysis. Our course shows how mathematics is applied to solve practical problems, meaning you’ll learn the skills that employers need.

Physics is used to help us answer some of the important questions which arise in the world around us. Once we understand the processes involved in these problems, we need to translate our ideas into mathematics to find the solutions.

What you’ll study

This is a four-year joint Honours programme. Each year contains compulsory classes and some years contain either optional classes which relate to different areas of mathematics and physics and/or elective classes from other subject areas in the University.

Years 1 & 2

You’ll take basic classes in both disciplines. In addition to the study of core mathematical methods, you’ll learn calculus, geometry, applied analysis, mechanics, numerical analysis and probability and statistics. Physics classes cover mechanics, waves and optics, electromagnetism and quantum physics, together with experimental physics.

In Years 3 & 4

You’ll choose from the wide range of Mathematics & Physics classes available. It is possible to focus on an area in computational physics, or lasers and optics, or theoretical physics, such as quantum theory, while still developing mathematical skills. Your final-year project may be undertaken in either subject.

Facilities

You’ll have access to well-equipped, modern laboratories and teaching rooms as well as 24-hour access to an advanced computer information network and a sophisticated virtual e-learning environment. We have also an undergraduate common room which gives you a modern and flexible area that's used for individual and group study work and is also a relaxing social space.  

High Flyer Programme

Well-qualified applicants with appropriate A Levels and Advanced Highers will be admitted to the Faculty of Science prestigious 'High Flyer' Programme, which allows students to complete an Honours degree in three years and an Integrated Masters degree in four. If you are studying the relevant subjects you may receive a dual offer, specifying grades to direct entry to Year 2 as a High Flyer and also standard Year 1 entry.

Find out more about our High Flyer Programme.

The Andersonian Mathematical Society

This society is run by our students and organises various mathematically, socially or sport focused events for staff and students.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Institute of Physics for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Course content

Year 1

Mathematics

Introduction to Calculus
You'll study the basic concepts and standard methods of mathematical notation and proof, polynomial equations and inequalities, sequences and series, functions, limits and continuity, differentiation and integration.
Applications of Calculus

The fundamental concepts of calculus (differentiation and integration) presented in Applications of Calculus will be examined in more detail, extended to a larger class of functions by means of more sophisticated methods, including an introduction to complex numbers and variables, all demonstrated in application to practical problems including solving basic first and second-order differential equations.  

Geometry & Algebra with Applications

This class will introduce you to vectors and matrices, along with the idea of mathematical modelling through their application to real-world problems.

Physics

Experimental Physics
This class is an introduction to working in a laboratory environment. You'll undertake experiments related to the taught components of the first year physics curriculum, learning how to handle experimental uncertainties. In addition to laboratory work, you'll also undertake a group project.
Mechanics, Optics & Waves
We'll provide you with an understanding of motion of simple mechanical systems, gravitation and simple harmonic motion. You'll also learn about the fundamentals of wave propagation and the superposition of waves as well simple optical phenomena such as diffraction.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
This class is designed to introduce you to quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. It highlights experimental observations that resulted in the development of quantum mechanics, such as the photoelectric effect and blackbody radiation. In terms of electromagnetism, you'll cover basic electrostatics such as Gauss's law and magnetostatics.

Year 2

Mathematics

Linear Algebra & Differential Equations

This class will introduce you to the basic ideas of linear algebra, such as matrices and determinants, vector spaces, bases, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. You'll study various standard methods for solving ordinary differential equations and understand their relevance.

Advanced Calculus

Basic ideas, techniques and results for calculus of two and three variables, along with differentiation and integration over curves, surfaces and volumes of both scalar and vector fields will be presented.

Mathematical & Statistical Computing

This class will introduce you to the R computing environment. It'll enable you to use R to import data and perform statistical tests, allow you to understand the concept of an algorithm and what makes a good algorithm and will equip you for implementing simple algorithms in R.

Physics

Mechanics, Optics & Waves
This class builds on Mechanics, Optics and Waves from year 1. You'll be introduced to special relativity, the vector treatment of rotational motion and the behaviour of systems when forced to oscillate. To extend your understanding of wave phenomena you'll be introduced to the wave equation, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction and the operation of lasers.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
This class builds what you learned in year 1. you'll be introduced to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics and you'll develop a vector model of electromagnetism.
Condensed Matter Physics
You'll be introduced to solid state physics covering topics such as bonding in solids, through to the difference between conductors, insulators and semi-conductors.
Gases & Liquids
Here you'll discover some of the key concepts associated with liquids and gases. You'll cover topics such as ideal and imperfect gases, Maxwellian distributions, hydrostatics and Bernoulli's equation.

Year 3

Complex Variables & Integral Transforms

This class will introduce functions of a complex variable, define concepts such as continuity, differentiability, analyticity, line integration, singular points, etc. It'll examine some important properties of such functions, and consider some applications of them, eg conformal mappings, and the evaluation of real integrals using the Residue Theorem. It'll also introduce you to Fourier and Laplace transform methods for solving linear ordinary differential equations and convolution type integral equations.

Differential Equations

We'll introduce you to analytical methods for solving ordinary and partial differential equations so you'll develop an understanding along with technical skills in this area.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
Building on what you learned in year 2, this class will extend your understanding of quantum mechanics by introducing advanced concepts such as time independent perturbation theory and electromagnetism by exploring the wave like nature of electromagnetism as predicted by Maxwell's equations.
Condensed Matter Physics
Here you'll cover condensed matter physics and be introduced to concepts such as the Fermi surface, superconductors, phonons and other forms of collective excitations.
Statistical Physics
This class covers the fundamentals of thermodynamics through to an introduction to various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.

Optional classes

Mechanics of Rigid Bodies & Fluids

This class will:

  • convey the generalisation of the mechanics of single-particle systems to many-particle systems
  • convey the central ideas of a continuum description of material behaviour and to understand relevant constraints
  • ground students in the basic principles governing three-dimensional motions of rigid bodies
  • convey how the ideas of continuum theory are applied to static and inviscid fluids.
Numerical Analysis

This module will motivate the need for numerical algorithms to approximate the solution of problems that can't be solved with pen and paper. It'll develop your skills in performing detailed analysis of the performance of numerical methods and will continue to develop your skills in the implementation of numerical algorithms using R.

Optional classes - list B

Physics Skills
This class will develop your knowledge base and transferable skills in preparation for the project undertaken in years 4 and 5 of the course. It focuses on oral, written and graphical presentations, literature and group-work skills, individual data analysis and interpretation skills, and basic grounding in physics problem solving.

Year 4

Communicating Mathematics & Statistics

This class provides you with experience of the skills required to undertake project work, and to communicate the findings in written and oral form using a variety of sources, such as books, journals and the internet.

Project
The aim of this class is to help you develop as an enquiring independent physicist by undertaking a project under the supervision of a member of staff of the department.

Optional classes - list A

Modelling & Simulation with Applications to Financial Derivatives

Here you'll get an introduction to ideas in mathematics and statistics that can be used to model real systems, with an emphasis on the valuation of financial derivatives. This module places equal emphasis on deterministic analysis (calculus, differential equations) and stochastic analysis (Brownian motion, birth and death processes). In both cases, in addition to theoretical analysis, appropriate computational algorithms are introduced. The first half of the class introduces general modelling and simulation tools, and the second half focuses on the specific application of valuing financial derivatives, including the celebrated Black-Scholes theory.

Applicable Analysis 3

This class will present the main results in Functional Analysis, give an introduction to linear operators on Banach and Hilbert spaces and study applications to integral and differential equations.

Statistical Modelling & Analysis

This class will provide you with a range of applied statistical techniques that can be used in professional life.

Fluids & Waves

You'll be introduced to the theory of Newtonian fluids and its application to flow problems and the dynamics of waves on water and in other contexts.

Finite Element Methods for Boundary Value Problems & Approximation

You'll be presented with the basic theory and practice of finite element methods and polynomial and piecewise polynomial approximation theory.

Applied Statistics in Society

You'll be introduced to a range of modern statistical methods and practices used in industry, commerce and research, and will develop skills in your application and presentation.

Mathematical Biology & Marine Population Modelling

Here you'll learn the application of mathematical models to a variety of problems in biology, medicine, and ecology. It'll show the application of ordinary differential equations to simple biological and medical problems, the use of mathematical modelling in biochemical reactions, the application of partial differential equations in describing spatial processes such as cancer growth and pattern formation in embryonic development, and the use of delay-differential equations in physiological processes. The marine population modelling element will introduce the use of difference models to represent population processes through applications to fisheries, and the use of coupled ODE system to represent ecosystems. Practical work will include example class case studies that will explore a real-world application of an ecosystem model.

Mathematical Introduction to Networks

This class will demonstrate the central role network theory plays in mathematical modelling. It'll also show the intimate connection between linear algebra and graph theory and how to use this connection to develop a sound theoretical understanding of network theory. Finally, it'll apply this theory as a tool for revealing structure in networks.

Elasticity & Complex Materials

We'll introduce you to general continuum theory with applications to Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids and elastic materials.

Optimisation: Theory & Practice

We'll provide you with a basic mathematical understanding of modern approaches to optimisation and the calculus of variations.

Statistical Mechanics

Here you'll develop approaches to understanding complex or random systems in or out of equilibrium, based on ideas from statistical mechanics that incorporate familiar concepts and methods from neighbouring subjects like classical mechanics and probability and statistics.

You'll also be able to describe, through various examples and techniques, how macroscopic properties of systems arise from the ensemble action of many microscopic ingredients, and, specifically, how deterministic 'laws' may arise from basic randomness of a system with many variables or degrees of freedom. Fundamental examples include Brownian motion and the ideal gas.

Dynamical Models in Epidemiology

We'll introduce mathematical models which arise in epidemiology and population dynamics, and help you develop techniques for analysing the qualitative behaviour of the associated dynamical systems.

 

Optional classes - list B

Physics Skills
This class will further develop your skills as a professional physicist. It'll introduce you to key concepts in the commercialisation of research thereby introducing you to the business world as well as further refining your problem solving skills.
Topics in Solid State Physics
Here you'll track the development of key concepts in solid state physics and how these concepts can be exploited to form functional optical and electronic devices.
Topics in Physics
Here you'll be introduced to state-of-the-art developments in generation and use of charged particles in various forms such as free electron beams, plasmas and astrophysical plasmas.
Topics in Nanoscience
Here you'll be introduced to nanoscience. Specifically, the course will address concepts relating to Nanoparticle production, characterisation and structure before progressing to the physics associated with molecular nanoscience, including intermolecular forces and the techniques used to investigate these forces.
Topics in Photonics
This class provides an introduction to laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as required for the work in many photonic laboratories.
Topics in Computational & Complexity Physics
You'll be introduced to the ideas and concepts associated with complexity physics and to the use of computer simulations to demonstrate these processes.
Topics in Theoretical Physics
The aim of this class is to introduce you to the large scale structure of space-time.
Topics in Quantum Physics
This class provides an introduction to the basic concepts and theoretical ideas of quantum optics.
Topics in Atomic, Molecular & Nuclear Physics
This class aims to give a general overview and understanding of atomic and molecular physics and relate these to practical applications and related fields of study.

Assessment

Knowledge, understanding and subject-specific skills are assessed by coursework, assignment, reports, presentations and written exams.

Learning & teaching

The following teaching methods are used in Mathematics & Physics: lectures (using a variety of media including electronic presentations and computer demonstrations), tutorials, computer laboratories, coursework and projects.

You’ll also learn through structured group work in problem solving and student presentations.

Physics teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, interactive learning and laboratory work. You’ll also undertake group based and learning and self-paced project work.

On completion of the programme, you’ll be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge in the main areas of mathematics and physics
  • show an understanding of the principal mathematical and educational theories and a critical understanding of one or more specialised areas
  • demonstrate skills in identifying relevant physical principles and laws and calculation skills
  • develop and evaluate logical arguments, presenting them and their conclusions clearly and accurately
  • demonstrate problem solving skills, for example, abstracting the essentials of problems, formulating them mathematically and finding appropriate solutions
  • undertake a critical analysis of data and draw conclusions from the data
  • demonstrate a range of general skills, including IT competency

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

Year 1 entry: AABB or ABBBC (Maths A, Physics B, Advanced Higher Maths recommended) 

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: AB (Maths A, Physics B) 

A Levels

Year 1 entry: BBB (Maths B, Physics B)

Typical entry requirements: ABB

Year 2 entry: ABB (Maths A, Physics B) 

Typical entry requirements: AAA

International Baccalaureate

Year 1 entry: 32

Year 2 entry: 34 (Maths HL6, Physics HL6) 

HNC

Year 1 entry: relevant HNC with strong Maths and Physics, B in Graded Unit

Year 2 entry: not offered 

Additional information

  • deferred entry accepted

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

Scotland/EU

  • 2016/17 - £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2016/17 - £9,000

International

  • 2016/17 - £13,900

Additional fees 

Mathematics 

Course materials & costs 

Class materials (lecture notes and exercise sheets) for the majority of Maths & Stats classes are available free to download.  For some classes, students may need access to a textbook.  Textbook costs are typically in the £20-60 price range.  These prices are dependent on format (e-book, soft or hardback) and whether bought new or second hand.  

PVG scheme (Protection of Vulnerable Groups)

Third-year Maths and Teaching students will need to pay for the full price of a PVG membership scheme.  

Other costs 

£40 returnable deposit for PRS handsets

Physics 

Course materials & costs 

At present, the department charges students £5 for lecture notes in PH 151 and PH 152.  These notes are supplied by the University printers.  Digital copies of notes are published on MyPlace for students to download.  

A recommended textbook that comes with an online homework system is priced at £75, and covers both first and second-year material. If students don't wish to buy this text, the department issues the homework in paper copy for students to hand in for marking.  

This process is currently under review, as the department are considering moving to an online textbook.  This will be priced at £30 and accessed through MyPlace.  

Other costs 

The department supplies students with lab books (£1) for recording data through years 1-3.  First-year students are supplied with USB keys (£10) for the collection of data.  Personal response handsets are also available at lectures.  

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

If you’re from England, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be able to apply for help to pay your tuition fees and living costs from your local funding body.

We also have a few bursaries on offer for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

Graduates in Mathematics enter a wide range of employment, from the manufacturing and service industries, the actuarial, accountancy and banking professions, commerce and government, consultancy and education.

Our graduates go on to become investment analysts, numerical analysts, statisticians, actuaries, managers and teachers.

Physics graduates have a range of mathematical and analytical skills which allows them to enter a diverse range of sectors.

Recent graduates have entered engineering, the NHS and education. Many graduates continue to study beyond degree level, studying taught or research-based postgraduate courses.

How much will I earn?

Salary potential depends on the industry you choose to work in. With experience, actuaries can earn more than £60,000, numerical analysts £60,000. Investment analysts can earn up to £100,000 with bonuses.*

*Intended only as a guide.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of offer
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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