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.

We’re ranked 4th in the Russell Group for course satisfaction by the Guardian University Guide 2020

Introducing your degree

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

Overview

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 2019/20 programme specification document for this course

 View the 2020/21 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.

Accreditation

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

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

For 2020 entry

View 2019 entry requirements

Qualification Grade
GCSE  

Applicants must hold GCSE English language (or GCSE English) (minimum grade 4/C) and mathematics (minimum grade 4/C)

GCE A-Level

AAA-AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

or 

AABC including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical 

GCE A-Level with Extended Project Qualificiation (EPQ)

If you are taking an EPQ in addition to 3 A levels, you will receive the following offer in addition to the standard A-level offer:

AAB including mathematics/further mathematics (minimum grade A) and  physics (minimum grade A), with a pass in the physics Practical and grade A in the EPQ 

GCE A-Level with Contextual offer

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data allows us to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. 

Students who are highlighted in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme, as follows:

AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical 

A- level additional information

Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.  ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

Welsh Baccalaureate offer

AAA-AAB including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

or

AA from two A-levels including mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical and A-B from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate 

AABC including grades AA in mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

or

AA from two A-levels including mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical, and grades BC from a third A-level and the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate 

Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.  ‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. A pass in the physics Practical is required where applicable. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

 

International Baccalaureate Diploma
offer

 Pass, with 36-34 points overall, with 18-17 points required at Higher Level, including 6 at Higher Level in mathematics/further mathematics and 6 at Higher Level in physics

Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Applications where Higher Level subjects have been studied without the full Diploma, will also be considered on a case by case basis.

International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP)
offer

Offers will be made on the individual Diploma Course subject(s) and the career-related study qualification. The CP core will not form part of the offer.  Where there is a subject pre-requisite(s), applicants will be required to study the subject(s) at Higher Level in the Diploma course subject and/or take a specified unit in the career-related study qualification. Applicants may also be asked to achieve a specific grade in those elements. 

Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma offer

Applicants with an Access to HE Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year

Irish Leaving Certificate offer (first awarded 2017)

 H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2, including mathematics at H1 and physics at H1

Irish Leaving Certificate offer (last awarded 2016)

 A1,A1,A2,A2,A2,A2, including mathematics at A1 and physics at A1

Irish Leaving Certificate additional information

Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Scottish Qualification offers

Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U offer

 D3,D3,D3, in three Principal subjects including mathematics/further mathematics and physics

Cambridge Pre-U's can be used in combination with other qualifications such as A Levels to achieve the equivalent of the typical offer, where D3 can be used in lieu of A Level grade A or grade M2 can be used in lieu of A Level grade B.

Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer.

Level 3 BTEC (QCF) offer (unreformed)

D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus grades AA in A-level mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

We do not accept the BTEC Extended Diploma

We do not accept the BTEC Diploma

Applicants with a BTEC Extended Diploma or the BTEC Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year

Level 3 BTEC (RQF) offer (reformed)

D in the BTEC National Extended Certificate plus grades AA in A-level  mathematics/further mathematics and physics, with a pass in the physics Practical

We do not accept the BTEC National Extended Diploma

We do not accept the BTEC National Diploma

Applicants with a BTEC National Extended Diploma or the BTEC National Diploma should apply for the Engineering/Physics/Mathematics/Geophysics Foundation Year

Level 3 BTEC additional information

‘Use of mathematics’ A level is not a substitute for ‘mathematics’ A level. Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

European Baccalaureate offer

80% overall including 8.5 in mathematics and physics, with at at least 5 in Maths as an elective subject.

Applicants may be invited to visit the department and have an optional interview; an optional interview may lead to a lower offer. 

International qualifications

Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country  

This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.

Non-academic entry requirements

There are no additional requirements

English language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements.

Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

For 2019 entry

Qualification Grade
GCSE  GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C or above
 GCE A-level  AAA, including AA in Mathematics and Physics
International Baccalaureate requirements

 If you are taking an IB, we require 34 points with 18 at Higher Level including 6 in Maths and Physics.

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
English language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements

Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

Other qualifications:

Foundation Year:

 If you want to study for a degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or Geophysics but you did not choose mathematics and physics at A level, our Foundation Year may be of interest to you. The Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year is a one-year full-time course integrated with a further three, four or five-year degree course. Find out more about the Foundation Year.

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

Modules

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

Funding

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:

TypeDescription
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: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing-for-students.page.

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 www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Location

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