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Mathematics and Physics Courses

UCAS Codes: GF13 BSc/MathP, FG31 MPhys/MP

Mathematics and physics are complementary subjects and make a sensible combination to study at university. There are many examples of unexpected discoveries resulting from interaction between the two disciplines. Ideas developed in particle physics have led to advances in topology - one of the purest branches of mathematics. Advances in the understanding of chaos provide another example. Ideas from the theory are being applied increasingly in the modelling of complex physical systems such as the atmosphere and lasers.

The Warwick joint courses (BSc and MMathPhys) are now among the best-established in the country with around 50 students starting each year. The courses include a significant proportion of modules from both contributing departments designed primarily for joint degree students. It is possible at the end of the First Year to transfer to either of the single subject degrees. Years one and two are common to the two courses.

Warwick is strong in research in a number of branches of mathematics and physics, and is well-placed to offer accounts of those developments likely to be of most interest to joint degree students. These include non-linear systems (there are modules on the weather, modelling of biological systems, and complexity theory) and theoretical physics.

Please download the course booklet for more information. The modules are listed below and more detailed desriptors of their content is given in the links above.

YEAR ONE (BSc and MMathPhys)

In the first year, all students take the modules in the Core list. To give you an idea about the way the degree course is structured in the first year, the number in brackets after each module title indicates the number of lectures you will attend e.g. (15L) indicates a 15-lecture module.

Mathematics (core): Sets and Numbers (30L), Mathematical Analysis (60L), Linear Algebra (30L), Differential Equations (30L)

Physics (core): Electricity and Magnetism (30L), Physics Foundations (30L), Quantum Phenomena (15L), Classical Mechanics and Relativity (30L), Thermal Physics I (15L), Programming Workshop (15L)

Options Students may take any of the following for additional credit: Introduction to Geometry (15L), Introduction to Abstract Algebra (15L), Introduction to Astronomy (15L), Programming for Scientists (30L), Particle Physics (15L), Probability (15 or 30L).

YEAR TWO (BSc and MMathPhys)

Students take the core modules and at least eight modules from the lists of options.

Mathematics (core): Mathematical Analysis III (30L), Vector Analysis (30L), Partial Differential Equations (30L), Variational Principles (15L)

Physics (core): Electromagnetic Theory and Optics (20L), Methods of Mathematical Physics (20L), Quantum Mechanics and its Applications (40L) Thermal Physics II (20L) Physics of Fluids (20L)

Mathematics Options: Algebra I, Algebra II, Metric Spaces, Geometry, Differentiation, Introduction to Systems Biology, Theory of Ordinary Differential Equations

Physics Options: Stars, Geophysics, Hamiltonian Mechanics, Computational Physics, Global Warming, The Physics of Electrical Power Generation, Experimental Particle Physics

Options from other Departments: Modern Foreign Languages, Business School Modules, Introduction to Secondary School Teaching


In addition to a module on Communicating Science, students select about 12 modules (the exact number depends on the length of the modules) from:

Mathematics Options: Complex Analysis, Group Theory, Algebra II, Differentiation, Metric Spaces, Measure Theory, Functional Analysis I, Fluid Dynamics, Geometry of Curves and Surfaces, Control Theory, Topics in Mathematical Biology, Theory of Partial Differential Equations, Continuum Mechanics

Physics Options: The Standard Model, Quantum Physics of Atoms, Condensed Matter Physics, Electrodynamics, Plasma Electrodynamics, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Galaxies, Weather and the Environment, Statistical Physics, Non-linearity and Chaos, Physics in Medicine, Magnetic Resonance

Options from other Departments: Business Studies; Scientific Method; Modern Foreign Languages

The list of options given above may change slightly from year to year and some options may not be available in every year.

The four-year version of the degree should appeal most to those who are thinking of a career which makes substantial use of their knowledge of Mathematics and Physics. The first two years are the same as for the BSc.

Core: Fluid Dynamics, Quantum Physics of Atoms, Electrodynamics, Practical Work

Options: Students take further modules from the lists of Mathematics and Physics options open to the BSc students.

Students complete a project worth up to 25% of the year’s credit. They then select further modules from lists of options:

Mathematics: Advanced Partial Differential Equations, Measure Theory, Topics in Mathematical Biology, Fractal Geometry, Quantum Mechanics: Principles and Probabilistic Methods, Dynamical Systems, Fourier Analysis

Physics: Exo-Planets, High-energy Astrophysics, Relativistic Electrodynamics, General Relativity, Solar Magnetohydrodynamics, Quantum Theory of Interacting Particles, Functional Properties of Materials, Structure and Dynamics of Solids, Gauge Theories for Particle Physics, Neutrino Physics, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Advanced Particle Physics, High-performance Computing in Physics

Outside Options: There is no formal list of outside options. However, students can follow almost any module from outside the Department provided that the timetable permit this.

Entrance to the Mathematical Sciences Building
Scaling at phase transitions
After Mario's lecture