BSc Mathematics / Physics

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

The Mathematics and Physics Degree (FG31) at Aberystwyth University offers you the opportunity to combine the study of two closely-related disciplines in a coherent and structured format. The Mathematics and Physics Degree covers the core elements of each subject area, supplemented by a great choice of elective specialities, and you will gain a firm knowledge of the mathematical and numerical skills that underpin our understanding of physical concepts and natural phenomena. You will be taught in lectures and problem-solving classes with good staff/student ratios in the highest-rated department for Mathematics in Wales. Graduates of the Mathematics and Physics Degree are in significant demand across many industries that include science, engineering, technology and finance. Expand the sections below to discover more...

Overview

In studying this BSc joint honours dually-accredited degree programme in Mathematics and Physics you will divide your time equally between these two highly complementary academic disciplines in a department which is making ground-breaking advances in research and innovation.

Why study Mathematics and Physics at Aberystwyth?

Our Mathematics courses are accredited by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), the UK’s learned and professional society for mathematics and its applications. The IMA exists to support the advancement of mathematical knowledge and its applications and to promote and enhance mathematical culture in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, for the public good. Our Physics courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics (IoP), a leading scientific society which engages with policymakers and the general public to advance physics education, research and application, giving you a head start when you enter the competitive jobs market.

Mathematics and Physics have been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the university in 1872, making the university the first in Wales to teach these subjects. Recent investment of several million £s in teaching and research has ensured that we continue to innovate and provide a stimulating learning environment for a growing body of mathematics and physics students from all over the world.

100% of our 2014 Maths graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating. 71% were in professional work or graduate level education, above the UK average for the subject (DLHE 2014). This reflects our investment in innovative and strategic, student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction amongst Mathematics and Statistics students, with 84% reporting satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received, and 92% satisfaction with learning resources (5 points above the UK average for the subject).

The Department of Mathematics maintained its position as one of the best departments in Wales in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). The department returned almost 90% of our staff, the highest proportion of any Welsh mathematics department. Results show that 1 in 8 of our research outputs are world leading, and more than 60% are either world leading or internationally excellent. All of our research and the impact it has outside universities, was judged to be of international standard.

Our Physics lecturers are also researchers working at the cutting edge of their respective fields, so you can be confident that your learning experience will be informed by the latest specialist knowledge along with advanced instrumentation, modelling and techniques.

100% of our 2014 Physics graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, an increase of more than 10 percentage points on the previous year and 7 percentage points higher than the UK subject average. This reflects our investment in innovative and strategic student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic Institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results also show that 91% of our Physics students reported high levels of satisfaction with quality of the teaching and learning resources, including access to specialised equipment and facilities.

The Department of Mathematics and Physics is at the forefront of Welsh-medium provision in these subjects at higher education level in Wales. Details of Welsh language modules in mathematics and physics may be obtained from the Department.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Students must take the following Physics modules. You may choose a Welsh medium (FG or MT) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (PH, MA, MP) module:

Semester 1

Classical Dynamics MP14010

Classical Physics PH11010

Laboratory Physics PH15510

Semester 2

Forces Of Nature PH11120

Modern Physics PH14310

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Mathematics Joint Honours: Students must take a total of 60 credits of core and optional MA modules in year 1. The following modules are core:

Semester 1

Algebra MA10510

Calculus MA10610

Semester 2

Further Algebra And Calculus MA11010

Mathematical Analysis MA11110

Year 1 Options Mathematics Joint Honours: Students must take 20 credits of optional MA modules EITHER MA10110 and MA11210 OR MA10310 and MA11310.

Semester 1

Coordinate And Vector Geometry MA10110

Probability MA10310

Semester 2

Differential Equations MA11210

Statistics MA11310

Year 1 Options Welsh medium alternative modules:

Semester 1

Ffiseg Glasurol FG11010

Ffiseg Labordy FG15510

Dynameg Glasurol MT14010

Semester 2

Grymoedd Natur FG11120

Year 1 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Geometreg Gyfesurynnol A Fectoraidd MT10110

Tebygoleg MT10310

Algebra MT10510

Calcwlws MT10610

Semester 2

Algebra A Chalcwlws Pellach MT11010

Dadansoddi Mathemategol MT11110

Hafaliadau Differol MT11210

Ystadegaeth MT11310

Year 2 Core (20 Credits) Mathematics Joint Honours. The following modules are core in year 2.

Semester 2

Linear Algebra MA21410

Complex Analysis MA21510

Year 2 Core (60 Credits) Students must take the following core Physics modules. You may choose a Welsh medium (FG) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (MP) module:

Semester 1

Mathematical Physics MP26020

Thermal Physics PH21510

Semester 2

Electricity And Magnetism PH22510

Quantum Mechanics 1 PH23720

Year 2 Options Mathematics Joint Honours. Students must take 40 credits of optional MA modules EITHER from Block A OR B

Year 2 Options Welsh medium alternative modules:

Semester 1

Ffiseg Mathemategol FG26020

Year 2 Options BLOCK A: Students must take 40 credits from the following.

Semester 1

Real Analysis MA20110

Introduction To Abstract Algebra MA20310

Distributions And Estimation MA26010

Applied Statistics MA26600

Semester 2

Applied Statistics MA26620

Year 2 Options BLOCK B: Students must take 40 credits from the following.

Semester 1

Real Analysis MA20110

Introduction To Abstract Algebra MA20310

Introduction To Numerical Analysis And Its Applications MA25200

Semester 2

Introduction To Numerical Analysis And Its Applications MA25220

Hydrodynamics 1 MA25610

Advanced Dynamics MA25710

Year 2 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Ffiseg Mathemategol FG26020

Dadansoddiad Real MT20110

Semester 2

Algebra Llinol MT21410

Final Year Core (50 Credits) Students take the following core Physics modules: You may choose a Welsh medium (FG) alternative module (see below) instead of an English (PH) module:

Semester 1

Concepts In Condensed Matter Physics PH32410

Experimental Physics (10 Credits) PH35410

Semester 2

Probing Atoms And Molecules PH32710

Project (20 Credits) PH35620

Final Year Options Students take a further Physics Level-3 10-credit module subject to pre-requisites, timetable and approval by Degree Scheme Coordinator

Final Year Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Ffiseg Arbrofol (10 Credyd) FG35410

Semester 2

Prosiect (20 Credyd) FG35620

Final Year Options Mathematics Joint Honours. Students must take 60 credits from Maths level 3 modules.

Employability

Career prospects

A degree in Mathematics and Physics will be particularly valuable in employment situations which require specialist numerical skills and logical and analytical thought. These include working for organisations such as the Office of National Statistics and the Meteorological Office, but other career paths include accountancy and banking, risk analysis and actuarial work, finance management, investment analysis, information technology, laboratory and technical work, and research and development.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Mathematics and Physics will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• enhanced mathematical and computational skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• research and data analysis skills
• a thorough grounding in information technology skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

Year in Employment scheme (YES)
The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn?

In the first year you will take core modules in mathematical analysis, algebra and calculus, classical and modern physics, dynamics, and computational and experimental physics. Optional modules will allow you to direct your studies according to your preferences.

In the second year you will take linear algebra, thermal physics, mathematical physics, and quantum mechanics as core modules. A broad range of optional modules allows for further specialism.

In the third year your core modules include condensed matter, electromagnetism, and atoms and molecules. You will also undertake a project in which you will investigate a problem of an experimental, theoretical, data analysis, instrumentation or computer modelling nature under the supervision of a member of the academic staff.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a complementary set of teaching and learning methods and approaches, ranging from formal lectures, seminars and tutorials to workshops, practicals and individual and group-based project work.

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, continuous assessment, presentations, lab reports, lab diaries, data interpretation and examinations.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

Maths is a great course with really friendly and approachable lecturers. The content is always really interesting, but challenging to the right extent. The whole department works effectively to offer all the facilities needed to gain a good degree. Jennifer O'Neil

Everyday Physics enhances your understanding of the universe and everything we experience. Passionate scientists inform you of their contributions to science at the forefront of physics. Your time is split between gaining hands-on laboratory experience using exciting equipment including lasers, oscilloscopes and spectrometers, and lectures that will inspire and interest you. Each module challenges your intelligence and allows you to gain knowledge that most people benefit from but do not know exists. Students achieve excellence, and stretch their minds. It requires time and effort, but the skills and understanding you gain are second to none. Sarah Chandler

Key Information Set