BSc (Hons)

Physics and Mathematics

Student using scientific equipment
  • UCAS code(s): FG31 (full-time) / FG32 (with placement)
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: Three years full-time or four years with placement

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.

Foundation Year

We offer a foundation year that can be used as an entry route onto this course. See our course page for foundation modules.

Top ten in the UK for student satisfaction in Physics (NSS 2019)

What you'll study

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. As part of this, we’re offering scholarships for up to 30 students to study a language module as part of their degree.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

  • Year One

    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.

  • Year Two

    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.

  • Year Three

    You have the option to undertake a one year work placements in industry. On successful completion you will gain an additional award – the Placement Diploma in Professional Practice.

  • Final year

    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.

    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.

    Topics in Applied Mathematics

    Broadens your knowledge, understanding and skills in the reformulation and solution of equations which are relevant to the
    modelling of physical phenomena. Topics include partial differential equations and the fundamentals of mathematical modelling.

    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 Modern Physics

    In this module you will be taught concepts at the cutting-edge of physics.  The content varies each year but may include Einstein’s happiest thought, the nature of curved space-time around black holes and the unfortunate consequences of anything that approaches too closely, gravitational waves or advanced quantum mechanics.

    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.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

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.

Assessment methods

Year 1 - coursework (65%) and written (35%)

Year 2 - coursework (48%) and written (52%)

Year 3 - coursework (63%) and written (37%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (33%) and independent study (67%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (38%) and independent study (62%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (23%) and independent study (77%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 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.

Excellent placement opportunities

While studying for your degree, a placement is a valuable addition to your education. NTU is rated fourth in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016 for the number of students on year-long work placements. A placement may give you the chance to:

  • gain real life work experience
  • put knowledge and skills into practice
  • impress your employers – you could be offered a job at the end of your course.

Recently our students have taken placements at:

  • CERN
  • Netherlands Forensic Institute
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • Merck Chemicals
  • Airbus
  • National Grid.

In addition we offer shorter (usually eight-week) paid placements in local secondary schools.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent including Mathematics and Physics grade B); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM including relevant mathematics and physics modules; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade 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.

What are we looking for?

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent including Mathematics and Physics grade B); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM including relevant mathematics and physics modules; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade 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.

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.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

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.

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!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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.

Getting in touch

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

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

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.

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course. If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Science and Technology course enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 8351