The University of Southampton

F3GC MPhys Physics with Mathematics (4 Years)

Mathematics is the fundamental language of physics; it underpins the beautiful theories that explain our universe. By studying mathematics in more depth alongside physics, you’ll gain a profound understanding of these theories. You’ll also develop high-level analytical, modelling and computing skills that will open up a huge range of career options, from the financial markets to cryptography. Your rigorous scientific training will also be a firm foundation for PhD-level study.

How to applyFind out how to apply for this course

Introducing your degree

We're ranked 6th in the UK for physics by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

This degree combines experimental and theoretical physics with in-depth study in related fields of mathematics. Optional modules enable you to go deeper into areas of mathematics and physics that interest you, such as quantum physics or gravitational waves. You’ll also have the opportunity to study general relativity at an advanced level – we are one of only a few UK universities to offer this as part of an undergraduate programme.

The MPhys Physics with Mathematics degree is delivered in partnership with Southampton’s highly regarded Mathematical Sciences department, so you’ll learn from experts in both disciplines. Your lecturers will include academics from the cross-disciplinary Southampton Theory Astrophysics and Gravity (STAG) Research Centre, who are involved in world-leading research in fields where mathematics and physics meet.

Scientists from STAG were part of the international research team who detected gravitational waves and light from the collision of two neutron stars for the first time, and STAG’s General Relativity group is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Barnaby Sleat
I love studying here. Though the course can get tricky at points (as expected), the lecturers, course coordinators, PhD students and my tutor have always been helpful, and always been available if I've needed a hand with something.
Barnaby Sleat, MPhys Physics, third year


What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. It is also subject to theUniversity's disclaimer notice.

In the first two years you’ll be introduced to fundamental areas of physics including special relativity and the foundational theories of quantum physics and electromagnetism. You’ll gain more in-depth knowledge as you progress through the degree, applying your learning in fields such as particle physics, atomic physics and cosmology. Your mathematical training will include the study of linear algebra, number theory, partial differential equations, vector calculus and general relativity.

In the fourth year you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules in mathematics and physics. They cover a breadth of topics, including advanced study of gravitational waves and general relativity, as well as acoustics, photonics and quantum physics. You could deepen your physics-related mathematics knowledge or broaden your studies into applied maths fields, such as statistics or the mathematics of finance.

You’ll also have the opportunity to pursue your own interests by choosing a topic for your fourth-year research project. The breadth of our academics' interests, across mathematics and physics, means you’ll have a wide choice of research projects available to you. Some recent examples include:

  • exploring the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider and International Linear Collider
  • supersymmetric quantum mechanics
  • how much of the cosmological constant is fake?

View the 2017/18 programme specification document for this course

View the 2018/19 programme specification document for this course

Research-grade facilities

You’ll use state-of-the-art equipment in our teaching laboratories, with guidance from dedicated technicians who are there to support your experimental work. The University’s supercomputer IRIDIS – one of the most powerful in the world – is available for fourth-year research project work.

A top-five research department

Gain your physics degree from one of the top five Russell Group departments for physics and astronomy research (REF 2014). Our research reputation is built on a track record of discovery and we remain on the frontline of new developments.

Outstanding research in mathematics will also feed into your degree. In the 2014 REF, 100% of research conducted by the Mathematical Sciences department was rated as internationally excellent or of world-leading quality for its impact and for the research environment.

You’ll learn from the academics who are conducting this high-calibre research. You could even get involved in STAG’s research yourself by applying for a summer placement on one their projects – ideal if you want to gain experience in preparation for PhD-level study.


Our MPhys Physics programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics

Programme Structure

In years one and two you’ll study core physics and mathematics modules, gaining fundamental theoretical knowledge and experimental skills. Year three includes one optional module – you can choose to enhance your skills in either experimental physics or computing. In the fourth year you’ll be able to choose four modules from a wide range. As well as physics and mathematics modules, the options throughout the years include innovative cross-disciplinary modules on topics such as law, business and bioengineering.

All our students study the same core modules in years one and two, which means it’s possible to switch to one of our other BSc or MPhys physics programmes up to the end of the second year, provided you have taken the required optional modules.

To Apply

All undergraduate applications for Physics and Astronomy should be made online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Find out how to apply and get further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details.

Key Facts

We're 6th in the UK for physics in the Guardian University Guide 2019

Top 3 for Overall Student Satisfaction in the Russell Group in the National Student Survey for the last four years (not all Russell Group universities are returned in the National Student Survey every year)

100 per cent of our Physics and Astronomy research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF 2014)

The Physics with Mathematics degree is taught in partnership with the University's highly regarded Mathematical Sciences department

Choose to study the areas of mathematics and physics that interest you, such as gravitational waves, quantum physics and general relativity

Your skills will open the door to a wide range of careers, from crytography to finance. The degree is also a firm foundation for PhD-level study.

Welcome to Physics and Astronomy at Southampton

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
A Level

AAA, including AA in Mathematics and Physics.


GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C or above

Alternative qualifications:

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant.

International applicants:

We welcome applications from international students. Visit our international site for more information about our international student community, support and how to apply.

Mature applicants:

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course.

Selection process:

We select students on the basis of a UCAS application and an invitation to visit the department. UCAS code: F3GC Course title: MPhys Physics with Mathematics Course duration: 4 years


Career Opportunities

A highly respected physics degree and advanced mathematical skills will open up a wide range of career options. Many students from this programme continue their studies at PhD level. It’s also great preparation for roles in industry research, the financial markets, and many other sectors that rely on statistical analysis or cryptography expertise.

Whatever career you choose, your problem solving, computing and communication skills will impress recruiters; they will recognise your physics degree as a sign of an independent thinker who is ready for a challenge.

Tailored career support

If you’re not sure which career path is right for you, we’ll offer the support you need to help you decide. We run a programme of career-focused sessions in year two, designed specially for physics students and timetabled to fit in with your studies. They include application and interview workshops, as well as talks from visiting professionals. We can also help you to find a paid summer placement where you can put your physics, maths or computational skills into practice, through the South East Physics network (SEPnet) scheme.

Career destinations

Around a third of our Physics and Astronomy graduates go on to do a PhD. Others work in the private and public sectors, in government, defence, finance, business, and industry. Here are just some of the roles they have secured:

  • astrophysicist
  • acoustician
  • air traffic controller
  • bioinformatics specialist
  • data analyst
  • government science policy officer
  • medical physicist 
  • satellite engineer
  • science communicator
  • software engineer
  • statistician
  • systems analyst
  • weather forecaster
  • web developer

Learning & Assessment

Professionalism in teaching

Our academics pay as much care and attention to their teaching as they do to their research. We’re keen to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for physics with you, and inspire the next generation of physicists.

Find out more about our commitment to professionalism in teaching.

We combine traditional teaching and learning methods with tried-and-tested innovations to improve your learning experience. Use interactive technology to ask a question from your seat in the lecture hall and receive a response during the session. Or get a bit of extra help by watching a tutor explain a tricky derivation via online video tutorials.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Scheduled learning & teaching study38%33%24%19%
Independent study62%67%76%81%
Placement study0%0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Written exam assessment61%70%60%44%
Practical exam assessment18%8%3%6%
Coursework assessment21%22%37%50%

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at


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