Why this course?
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.
Our flexible degree structure enables transfer between courses with the opportunity to study abroad.
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.
You’ll have access to well-equipped, modern computing 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.
Accredited by the Institute of Physics for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.
Current students are taking the following classes, and we expect the syllabus to be similar to this in future years.
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
Geometry & Algebra
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.
This class will introduce you to vectors and matrices.
This class will introduce basic ideas and techniques of statistics.
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.
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.
Mathematical & Statistical Computing
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
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.
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.
This class covers the fundamentals of thermodynamics through to an introduction to various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.
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.
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.
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.
This class will introduce you to the fundamentals of computer programming and the applications of computer programming, using Matlab, to solve physical problems.
You'll choose between a Mathematics & Statistics project and a Physics project.
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.
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
Applicable Analysis 3
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.
Statistical Modelling & Analysis
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.
Fluids & Waves
This class will provide you with a range of applied statistical techniques that can be used in professional life.
Finite Element Methods for Boundary Value Problems & Approximation
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.
Applied Statistics in Society
You'll be presented with the basic theory and practice of finite element methods and polynomial and piecewise polynomial approximation theory.
Mathematical Biology & Marine Population Modelling
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 Introduction to Networks
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.
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.
Optional classes - list B
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.
AssessmentKnowledge, 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
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
Year 1 entry: AABB or ABBBC (Maths A, Physics B, Advanced Higher Maths recommended)
Year 2 entry: AB (Maths A, Physics B)
Year 1 entry: BBB (Maths B, Physics B)
Typical entry requirements: ABB
Year 2 entry: ABB (Maths A, Physics B)
Typical entry requirements: AAA
Year 1 entry: 32
Year 2 entry: 34 (Maths HL6, Physics HL5)
Year 1 entry: relevant HNC with strong Maths and Physics, B in Graded Unit
Year 2 entry: not offered
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.
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?
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
Course materials & costs
Class materials (lecture notes and exercise sheets) for the majority of Mathematics & Statistics 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.
£40 returnable deposit for PRS handsets.
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.
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
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
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.