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In the UK for Mathematics in The Guardian University Guide 2022

Physics and Mathematics (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): FG35
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Four years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

We’re here to support you as you set out on your journey. We’ll build your mathematics, science and engineering skills and knowledge, so you’re ready for the challenge of moving on to BSc (Hons) Physics and Mathematics in your second year.

You’ll get plenty of opportunities to apply your knowledge by taking part in a series of projects both on your own and in a group. This really develops your problem-solving and creative thinking skills – essential for physics and mathematics graduates.

Don’t worry if you change your mind about studying physics and mathematics. You’ll have a solid foundation to switch onto one of our other mathematics or engineering courses.

Our Mathematics and Physics degrees are current and relevant to the needs of business. Our close links with industry means that, if you wish, you’ll have the opportunity to take up job placements with some of the world’s leading companies.

You’ll benefit from excellent teaching. We are in the top 10 in the UK for teaching quality in mathematics and physics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).

Research scholarships
Every year we offer a small number of Mathematics Undergraduate Research Scholarships (MURS), giving successful applicants funding for a six-to-eight-week placement in one of our research teams. This is a great opportunity for you to further your research interests and contribute to the academic activities of the mathematics department.

More student opportunities
Our students have recently formed a Mathematics Society, and you’ll have the opportunity to take part in regular events hosted on campus by the local branch of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

What you’ll study

In the modern world, many new employment opportunities demand multi-skilled graduates. Those with mathematical and physics skills are among the most sought-after in fields including industrial research and development, computing, business, finance and teaching.

You’ll use our outstanding laboratory facilities. In the last year we’ve spent £250,000 on new equipment for our teaching laboratories including telescopes, CCD cameras, ultrasound scanners, magnetic resonance spectrometers, high speed cameras, thermal imaging equipment and a high resolution 3D printer.

How will I learn?

We will provide lectures, practical laboratory sessions, seminars and two to four surgery sessions each week. The rest of your time is given to self-guided independent study (reading text books, lecture notes and exercises)..

Meet the Team

Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

Placement Year

An optional placement year is available, this will typically take place after Year Three, and you will return to campus for your final year in Year Five.

Introductory Mathematics

This module provides an introduction to important mathematical ideas, including Algebraic rearrangement, Trigonometry, Vectors, Descriptive Statistics, Integration and Differentiation. You’ll gain an understanding of ideas that form the basis of later, more specialised, developments and you’ll be able to solve simple but realistic mathematical problems.

Intermediate Mathematics

This module aims to provide the link between Introductory Mathematics and degree level Mathematics. You’ll cover more complex topics such as the chain rule and integration by parts, the generalisation of vectors to matrices, the approximation of numerical series, logic and probability, complex numbers and mathematical proof.

Foundation Science

In this module you’ll cover topics in Physics and Chemistry including exchange, transport and conservation of energy and inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. The aim of this module is to provide a sound scientific foundation for the study of engineering or mathematics at undergraduate degree level.

Foundation Engineering

This module includes basic electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering. Mechanics considers the consequences of applying forces to physical bodies; the electrical and electronics part of the module focuses on the scientific principles relevant to circuit theory, analogue electronics and components. Laboratory-based sessions will allow you to gain practical knowledge and experience.

Practical and Professional Skills

This module aims to provide a link between the theoretical modules on the course and their practical implementation. The professional skills aspect will help you with interpreting coursework requirements, exam and revision technique, note taking and referencing. The practical sessions will cover a variety of topics that require you to make use of the scientific principles and mathematical techniques that you’re learning in the other modules on the course.

Mathematical Methods

This module aims to consolidate and extend your previous knowledge of calculus and linear algebra, with emphasis on the underlying intuition of the techniques.

Introduction to Numerical Methods

Learn about important numerical methods for solving mathematical problems and develop computational skills using specialist mathematical software packages.

Vector Algebra and Calculus

Gain a basic knowledge of vector algebra and vector calculus and learn how to apply these techniques to physical situations.

Laboratory Instrumentation and Physics Skills

This module provides an underpinning of essential professional, laboratory and IT skills, including physical principles of electronics-based measurement instruments.

Ideas of Motion – From Galileo to Einstein

Understand how force and motion are related, from the ideas of Galileo through to Newton’s laws of motion up to Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

Matter: Evidence for Quantisation

Providing you with knowledge in elementary quantum ideas and nuclear physics, you will develop your ability to understand and apply mathematical techniques in a scientific manner.

Differential Equations and Transform Methods

Extend your knowledge of calculus, differential equations and linear algebra, and gain an introduction to difference equations, the Eigen problem and transform methods.

Numerical Methods for Ordinary Differential Equations

You will further develop your computational and professional skills and enhance your knowledge of specialist numerical software
packages.

Advanced Calculus

Broaden your knowledge, understanding and skills in advanced higher calculus to topics including Fourier series, partial differential equations and complex analysis.

Thermal and Environmental Physics

Learn about the principles of thermal physics, including: heat transfer processes, thermal expansion of materials, behaviour of gases, atmospheric physics, the northern lights and the physics of climate change.

Fundamental Forces

Develop an understanding and appreciation of the principles, applications and relationships of the fundamental forces of nature: electromagnetism, gravity and strong and weak nuclear forces.

The Quantum World

Learn introductory quantum mechanics through the solution of the Schrodinger equation for model problems. This will reinforce your ability to deploy mathematical techniques.

Core modules

Project in Mathematics (Mathematics students only)

The final year project gives you the opportunity to demonstrate and document your skills, knowledge and understanding of mathematics, and show your planning, organisation and problem solving abilities.

Professional Mathematics Skills (Mathematics students only)

Gain a broad view of the practical applications of Mathematics in the real world, especially in industrial contexts such as Finance, Physics and Engineering.

Project and Professional Skills in Physics (Physics students only)

You will spend at least one full day per week in the laboratory undertaking novel research, using modern equipment. You will learn the techniques required to formulate a research project, carry out a literature review, perform critical appraisal of published research and scientific presenting. Recent projects have included building a 3D printer, optimising MRI hardware and studying the chaotic behaviour of a dripping tap.

Communicating Science and Technology

This module will be of interest to you if you are considering a career in teaching and / or want to develop your portfolio of transferable skills.

Choose two modules from:

Differential and Integral Equations

Apply your knowledge of advanced calculus and differential equations to the solution of differential and integral equations.

Linear Systems

You will continue your previous studies in the fields of linear algebra and differential and difference equations.

Numerical Analysis and Dynamical Systems

Develop your knowledge of numerical methods with an emphasis on numerical optimisation techniques, advanced methods for the numerical solution of ordinary differential equations and the application of methods to non-linear problems.

Partial Differential Equations

Partial differential equations are an important topic in both pure and applied mathematics.  This topic builds on the introduction given in Advanced Calculus to consider linear partial equations in non-trivial domains and to introduce methods of analysing nonlinear first order partial differential equations.

Choose two modules from:

Condensed Matter

Study macroscopic properties of matter, beginning with ideas of statistical mechanics and progressing to encompass the structure of matter, magnetic and transport properties.

Advanced Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing

In this module you will cover some of the greatest intellectual achievements of physics including the explanation of the universe on the smallest length scale.

General Relativity

You will cover Einstein's greatest theory which describes the working of the large-scale universe including the curved space-time, black holes and gravitational waves.

Advanced Experimental Techniques

You will gain an insight into a wide range of sophisticated experimental techniques through innovative interactive classroom sessions and in-depth practical work.

How you’re taught

You will have around 20 hours per week of scheduled contact time with academic staff. This typically includes laboratory work, lectures and student centred activities. During the rest of your week you will be engaged in self-guided learning, and group or individual project work.

Contact hours

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (30%) and independent study (70%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (36%) and independent study (64%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (32%) and independent study (68%)

Year 4 - lectures/seminars/workshops (19%) and independent study (81%)

A placement year may be taken between year 3 and year 4 of study

Staff Profiles

Fouzia Ouali

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Fouzia Ouali

Colin Wilmott

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Colin Wilmott

Christian Beardah

Head of Department

School of Science & Technology

Christian Beardah

Edward Breeds

Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Edward Breeds - Principal Lecturer of Physics and Undergraduate Courses Manager

How you’re assessed

Year 1 - coursework (60%) and written (40%)

Year 2 - coursework (23%), written (60%) and practical (17%)

Year 3 - coursework (20%), written (73%) and practical (7%)

Year 4 - coursework (36%), written (60%) and practical (4%)

A placement year may be taken between year 3 and year 4 of study

Careers and employability

Your career development

You will develop numerical, analytical and computational skills which are greatly respected by employers, in addition to essential, transferable skills which include report communication skills, team working and problem solving. Our physics graduates have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • aerothermal engineer – Rolls Royce
  • wind analyst – Prevailing Ltd
  • technical writer – KA Testing Facility
  • medical dosimetrist – NHS
  • software test engineer – Nikon
  • car configuration engineer – Jaguar Land Rover
  • teacher – numerous schools
  • public engagement of science officer – Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • graduate quantity surveyor – Balfour Beatty
  • scientist training programme – NHS

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees in areas including Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Quantum Computing and Detector Research.

Placements

NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

On this course, after your third year, you will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement (sandwich placement). This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. You're also twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months if you take a work placement.

Our recent students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including DeVere Group, Cooper Parry and IBM. They secured varied roles such as Trainee Wealth Assistant, Business Analyst and Auditing Assistant.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Find out more about work placements.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Physics teaching and research takes place in well-equipped lecture theatres and laboratories, supported by modern scientific, electronic and computing equipment including:

  • a custom-built teaching observatory recognised by the International Astronomical Union with a 20-inch and a 14-inch telescope and a 2.3m radio telescope
  • MRI facilities, including a 2.35 Tesla Bruker Biospec scanner, a Halbach MRI and a unilateral MRI scanner
  • a microscopy and imaging suite including electron microscopes, confocal and polarising microscopes, an atomic force microscope and a scanning tunnelling microscope
  • a state-of-the-art micro-fabrication laboratory for creating micro-mechanical and microfluidic devices
  • an excellent Ionising Radiation teaching laboratory and three X-ray CT scanners.

In the last year we have spent £250,000 on new equipment for our teaching laboratories including telescopes, CCD cameras, ultrasound scanners, magnetic resonance spectrometers, high speed cameras, thermal imaging equipment and a high resolution 3D printer. Our facilities and expertise ensure that our students get the practical experience that employers and researchers need.

Get Involved

Our student-run Astronomy and Physics Society organises social events and trips – all themed around hot Physics topics. Recently students have been searching for the Northern Lights in Iceland, visited the large hadron collider in CERN, and calculated the complex forces involved in roller coaster rides at Alton Towers.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 72 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent including Physics grade C; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MMP including Physics modules; and
  • GCSEs – Maths grade B/6 and English C/4.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

  • If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • 72 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent including Physics grade C; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MMP including Physics modules; and
  • GCSEs – Maths grade B/6 and English C/4.

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

Other

Students will require a basic scientific calculator for use in examinations (e.g. Casio 83 or 85 series, approximately £15).

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

  • For more information other opportunities for funding please visit our international pages.
  • For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

Other

Students will require a basic scientific calculator for use in examinations (e.g. Casio 83 or 85 series, approximately £15).

How to apply

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!